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July Allotment Tips

july allotment tips allotment

Allotments rock and that’s official! The sheer sense of achievement and satisfaction from spending many a happy hour down on the plot, pottering around and harvesting during gorgeous lazy summer weather is immeasurable.

I’ve been methodically harvesting redcurrants this week and what a satisfying, yet tedious job it is. Every time I go near the bushes a starling or pigeon seems to dart out from underneath despite my best attempt to protect the crop with netting! I really should invest in a fruit cage. However for this year, no great problem-there is enough bounty to go round. It’s worth checking your netting regularly as sometimes young birds can sadly get caught up in it.

There has been a bumper crop of strawberries over the past few weeks too. My new strawberry bed, planted last autumn has produced luscious super- sized berries packed with mouth-watering tantalising flavour. I like to create new strawberry beds every two years, rather than three years, to maintain good sized fruits.

Blueberries are nearly ready to pick too. Keep them well watered in dry weather, preferably with rainwater from a water butt. Blueberries are well worth growing on any allotment. Given lime free conditions, in the ground or in pots, they will give years of trouble-free service. They are expensive to buy in the shops too.

In some ways it is a challenging time of year to take an allotment on. Weeds are rampant and unless you are very lucky your new plot may resemble an overgrown jungle.

Try not to despair. Take inspiration from looking at other vibrant plots around you. Your neighbours probably began their allotment life in similar circumstances too. The main focus is really to plan for next year now- if a patch can be cleared by early September, spring cabbage and winter lettuce can be planted then. Then as autumn approaches garlic and over winter onions can also go in the ground. Some quick maturing salad crops can be sown now if the land isn’t too weedy.

As ever down on the allotment there is much to look forward to, with many exciting months ahead.

Crops in season this month include: Beetroot, broad beans, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, courgette, lettuce, peas, early and second early potatoes, radish, raspberry, spring onion and strawberries.

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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.

2 thoughts on “July Allotment Tips”

  1. STAFF says:

    Hi Alan, thanks for the question.

    Any soil infected with clubroot should be fine to re-use next year with non brassica family crops. So yes, if you rotate your crops then it is possible to work around it.

    Another option to consider is there are now some excellent Club Root tolerant varieties of plants available to buy. These will cope with club root in the soil. Cabbage
    “Kilaxy”, Brussel Sprout “Crispus” and Cauliflower “Clapton” are available as plug plants in spring and have resistance to Club Root.and Cauliflower “Clapton” are available as plug plants in spring and have resistance to Club Root.

    Links:

    Kilaxy: http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Vegetable+Seeds/When+to+Sow+Vegetables/Vegetables+to+Sow+in+May/Cabbage+F1+Kilaxy+Seeds_154126.htm

    Crispus: http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Vegetable+Seeds/When+to+Sow+Vegetables/Vegetables+to+Sow+in+March/Brussels+Sprout+Seeds+-+F1+Crispus_153621.htm

    Clapton: http://www.suttons.co.uk/Gardening/Vegetable+Seeds/All+Vegetable+Seeds/Cauliflower+F1+Clapton+Seeds_158233.htm

    Thanks,
    Suttons.

  2. alan says:

    I think i have club root in my cabbage patch , will i be able to grow other veg next year in the same soil and can any one out there offer any advice

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