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!