“Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.”
– Sara Coleridge
Let’s hope Sara Coleridge is right and that we have plenty of apricots and gillyflowers this month. Apricots are easy to grow and so rewarding. Think jams, tarts, chutney, brandy or simply eating them fresh from the tree. At only 17 calories per fruit they are a non-guilty pleasure. Even if you don’t have room for a large apricot tree dwarf varieties are available.
Gillyflower is a collective name for scented flowers, including dianthus, carnations and stocks. The name Gillyflower (pronounced Jilly) is believed to stem from the French word for July, Jolliet. To stock up on your own July flowers visit our website and you’ll find we’ve been growing plenty at our Devon nursery.
Regarding Sara’s forecasted cooling showers – let’s hope they happen at night!
Our top ten recommended tasks this month include:
- Dead-head bedding plants and roses to encourage further flowering and remove any fallen rose petals to prevent fungal disease forming.
- Baskets and containers can dry out quickly in warm, sunny conditions and may need watering twice a day. Feed regularly to promote flowering.
- Faded flower-spikes on lupins, campanula, delphinium, etc. can be cut down to just above a new shoot or leaf, apply liquid feed to each plant to encourage fresh growth.
- Don’t allow onions to go short of water as this will affect the size of crop. Your onion hoe needs to be busy this month keeping down the weeds.
- Remove side shoots on cordon tomatoes and feed regularly with a high potash liquid tomato fertiliser.
- Regularly pick runner and French beans, courgettes and strawberries to encourage further cropping.
- Prune established plum and apricot trees
- Keep picking sweet peas for enjoying indoors and feed the plants every 12 days
- Prune shrubs that flowered in early summer
- Your garden birds will enjoy a dish of fresh water to both drink and bathe in so keep one topped up. And you’ll get the pleasure of watching them
Bee Kind to Bees
- Bee numbers are at their highest during summer which puts pressure on their food supply. Although our gardens may be full of flowers and colour, that doesn’t mean they are of the right type to produce nectar. Traveling long distances in search of food increases the risk of the bees becoming lost, uses up vital energy and can also be hazardous.So, how can you help? Simply by ensuring that your garden includes at least some nectar producing plants. And this is in turn where we here at Suttons can help you. We currently have a stunning range of perennials at our nursery – of the nectar producing kind. Visit our website to view our Plants Attractive to Bees range.
Bee-ing kind to bees means you also have a good excuse for not mowing the lawn so often. Clover is a very rich source of bee food so let it grow and flower!
This is the time of year when we get to eat what we’ve grown. Tomatoes are one of the easiest and most rewarding of crops.
- – Pick your tomatoes often to keep the fruits coming.
– Do your picking in late afternoon when the sugar content will be at its highest.
– Tomatoes continue to develop flavour for a few days after having been picked but this stops if you store them in the fridge. Instead keep in a bowl at room temperature but not for too long!
– If you have a glut of tomatoes then freeze them whole on a tray and then pop them into a bag. Perfect for stews and sauces for pasta or pizza and no need to defrost first.
– Adding a pinch of sea salt to salad tomatoes will bring out even more flavour.
– Green tomatoes make wonderful chutney but for a change, why not fry them? Fried green tomatoes must be good – they named a film after them!For more tomato advice visit our blog – Getting the Most from your Tomatoes
With summer now ramping up it’s always nice to sit back, relax and enjoy the hard work you’ve put into your garden. Flower beds and borders should now be bursting with colour, the rewards for the time and effort spent raising the plants from seed or small plugs. But what to do if there are gaps in your displays? What if you somehow don’t have enough plants to fill your borders; or worse still, you have lost some of your precious plants to adverse growing conditions or slugs have got to the young tender leaves.
Well help is now at hand. Whether you are looking to replace lost plants or add more to your displays, Suttons have introduced a new range of already established large potted bedding plants. For the first time you can now order a limited range of plants supplied in 1 litre or 3 litre pots, available for immediate despatch. From begonias to cosmos and fuchsia, these varieties are ready to plant straight out into the garden where they will provide instant colour and impact, seamlessly filling in any gaps to give you a full and colourful display all summer.
Check out the full range of large potted bedding plants and don’t miss out on these fantastic special offers:
Throughout the month private gardens will be opened to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme. With 3,700 gardens across the country there’s bound to be some near you. Visit their website for details – https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/
4th – 9th July RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-flower-show
19th – 23rd RHS Tatton Park – https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-flower-show-tatton-park
26th Sandringham Flower Show – http://www.sandringhamflowershow.org.uk/
29th – 30th Portishead Flower Show – http://www.portisheadflowershow.com/