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July Allotment Tips

allotment in july in full production

Allotments up and down the country are at bursting point in July, crammed full of fresh tasty, nutritious produce. In season this month are; beetroot, broad beans, cabbage, courgettes, lettuce, (overwintered) onions, peas, (early and second early) potatoes, radish, salad leaves,strawberries and greenhouse tomatoes – a truly veritable feast! There are even more delights to come over the coming months…

Meanwhile, strawberry plants are sending out runners now. These tiny plants can be pegged into a small pot containing compost,or good quality soil and used to make new plants. When the runners have rooted, simply detach from the parent plant and start a new strawberry patch for free.

Keep an eye on your overwintered garlic as growth will soon be slowing towards the end of the month, watch out for the foliage turning yellow. When growth ceases, carefully lift the garlic, remove the foliage and dry the cloves in the sun on a wire rack for a few days, before storing in a dark, dry location for use over winter.

Tie in asparagus foliage as it starts to get tall, to protect the spindly ferns from sudden gusts of wind.

Pay special attention to regular watering of leeks, runner beans and blueberries, all of which require copious amounts of water.

If you are taking on a new plot this month, there is still plenty of time to get something out of your new plot this season. Aim to consolidate initially by selecting an area of the plot to clear. Then a quick sowing of beetroot, lettuce, radish, spring onions and turnip will yield produce before winter. It is good to get even a relatively small section up and running, to provide early excitement. The reality of the time-consuming work of clearing the plot, will soon sink in. Taking on a new allotment is akin to a running a marathon, rather than a sprint. Pace yourself and don’t try to clear the plot in a weekend. You risk losing interest, or hurting your back or both!

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Lee Senior

About Lee Senior

Lee Senior is an experienced horticultural writer, RHS Yorkshire in Bloom judge and part time horticultural manager. He has also had an allotment for over 25 years. After, initially spurning horticulture as a career option, to pursue his boyhood dream of becoming a train driver, Lee soon realised he couldn't resist getting his hands dirty to make a living. Horticultural College training led, to getting an allotment at the tender age of 18 (in the days when you could actually get a plot quickly). My gardening hero, is Geoff Hamilton" says Lee. "It was Geoff who convinced me that you didn't have to spray everything that moved in the garden. Watching him on Gardeners’ World in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s was a revelation. I was lucky enough to meet Geoff and I’ve also more recently had the pleasure of meeting Joe Swift. Now over two decades of practical experience has taught me to work with mother-nature, not to fight against her and don't try to tame her, as so many gardeners seem to be on a mission to do. Small scale food growing is my passion and I can't wait for my my two daughters, one who is 5 years old and the other who is 3 to hopefully pick up the baton in the future. Nothing beats the flavour and satisfaction of growing your own food. You simply cannot buy the same quality and freshness. Everyone can have a go at growing something says Lee, no matter where they live. Lee has also written his first book entitled "Walking on the Aire".The book is based on another of his keen interests which is walking. The book features 14 short family style, walks in Airedale, Yorkshire.

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