I love July.
The frantic sowing and potting on is over and the harvests are starting to come in thick and fast. Flowers too really start to show off in July. It's a fantastic month, I wish it could last longer!
It is often a dry month, but a well-mulched allotment doesn't need as much watering. Most of the plants are already well established by now and are more resilient to dry spells than you think.
Potatoes, beans, beetroot, leafy greens, courgettes, salad, carrots...it's all happening now! We can eat some of our own veg every day easily in July and sitting down to a meal consisting completely of your own home-grown veg is one of life's great joys.
I have to confess, I am RUBBISH at this. Every year I have visions of me happily idling hours away in the kitchen making chutneys, jams and ferments to harness the goodness coming off the allotment and cheer us up during the dark winter months. "Catch & Store Energy" is one of the 12 principles we align ourselves to in permaculture and preserving, pickling and other ways to store your own produce is very much part of this.
Sadly, I never seem to find the time or the motivation to do it. This is despite 'Abundance' by Alys Fowler being one of my most favourite books. I am an armchair preserver.
But, if you fancy it her book is fantastic. It's called 'Abundance: How to Store and Preserve Your Garden Produce'.
There is plenty to sow in July.
I’m a massive fan of direct sowing as it saves so much work, so I’ll be doing another round of seeds straight into the ground this month… things like
To be honest I tend to get a bit trigger happy with sowing this time of year and if I see an empty patch of ground I scatter some seeds as I think what have I got to lose,
The first potatoes are normally lifted and eaten in July. I fill the gap immediately with leek babies, or a direct sowing of peas.
The broad beans will definitely come to an end by July and where they come out, I follow in with purple sprouting broccoli plugs.
Don't ever feel you have to sow everything yourself from seed. A good garden centre will have baby leeks and PSB this time of year and I have always had really great results with purple sprouting broccoli plugs from a local nursery - usually 'rudolph' and 'claret'.
Some things I would never buy as plug pants, either because you get royally ripped off (eg: radish, nasturtium) , they are absolutely fool proof to sow direct yourself (eg: beetroot, chard) or they hate being transplanted and would never do well so you would be wasting your money (eg carrots, parsnips). No shame in buying things like leeks, cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, courgettes, sweetcorn or even beans for example. It's your garden, do it whatever way works for you!