Published: 04 August 2014
Ed's July Checklist
It may be the start of the holiday season but Ed reminds us there is still plenty to do out in the garden to help produce good crops of edible and ornamental produce.

In the Fruit and vegetable garden

Continue to feed your tomatoes and cucumbers with a good feed, which your can get from any good garden centre, when using it always follow the makers instructions by doing this it will give you better results. You can make your own feed, if you like. I make my feed in a large water butt, using borage leafs and in an onion sack; I put a bucket full of sheep manure weighing it down with a brick. I would then leave it for about a fortnight, when ready I use a container about the size of an eggcup and put two of these to 5 litres of water, I find this works well for me.
If you have not already done so, pot up your chillies into their final pots and place them in the greenhouse or polytunnel. I am growing a different selection this year they are Scotch Bonnet, Apache and a new one that I have never grown before called Joe Long.
Cut off all courgettes as they become ready, before they become more like marrows.
Pinch out side-shoots on your tomato varieties, like Moneymaker and Sungold just to name a couple.
Start picking your tomatoes and cucumber as they become ready.
Support fruiting raspberries, do this by tying them onto a wire support, by doing this it will keep them tidy and make it easier to pick the fruit along the rows.
Sow autumn varieties of lettuce.
Prune stone fruits like cherries and apricots.
 Water your rhubarbs regular this will help them to produce more sticks as the season goes on.
Pick runner beans as they ripen and make sure you give them plenty of water to maintain cropping.
Start harvesting early potatoes.


In the Flower garden

Continue to remove dead heads from bedding plants and flowering perennials to encourage further flowering.
Deadhead canna lilies as they fade give them a regular feed.
Cut back geraniums after the first flush of flowers to encourage a second flowering, remember to give them a feed after cutting them back.
Check all stakes on tall perennials like delphiniums, lupins just to name a couple.
Now is a good time to take cuttings from pinks and carnations and also semi ripe cuttings of different shrubs, good examples are Hydrangea and Fuchsias.
Check and tie in any climbers or ramblers as they grow into their supports.
Check your dahlias to make sure their supports are ok and start cutting the blooms as they become ready, this will keep them producing more blooms.

Regularly, dead head roses and keep cutting sweet pea blooms as the flowers are ready to keep the plants flowering for as long as possible. 


Other jobs 

Keep watering around the greenhouse or poly tunnels during warm weather to reduce the risk of plants drying out.  
If you would like to increase your strawberry plants this can be done by layering the small plants, which the parent plant sends, do this by pegging them to the floor. Once the roots have taken, you can then cut the small plant away from the parent pot them up and grow them on ready to replant.
Continue to cut your grass areas. To keep the grass greener during the hot weather  raise the height of your cutting blades to reduce plant stress. 
Give all outdoor wooden structures like sheds a coat of paint or preservative while the weather is dry and sunny.
Continue to keep the hoe moving around the plot and borders to remove any weeds while they are small and start producing seeds.
Continue to water and feed all plants inside the greenhouse and outside on the plot. When feeding always follow the makers’ instructions. 

Reported by Ed Gent  

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