July at Plot 4

June has been a really warm month down here on the south coast. We’ve had slightly above temperatures, with occasional heavy downpours. All in all, perfect growing weather. As a result the allotment has flourished, with the crops just about outgrowing the weeds.

The good weather has meant there has been much to harvest. The broad beans have been a roaring success, with literally bagfuls being picked and eaten over the last few weeks. Whilst the original overwintered crop has just finished, the spring sown bean are about to be ready to pick; so we’ll be enjoying these sweet and tasty beans well into July. The strawberries have also been excellent, with a really good harvest of big berries. They too have begun to reach the end, but as they finished the summer raspberries have ripened and are providing us with a great crop. Salads are hard to get germinating when its so hot, but those which had grown have been giving us a constant alternative to the hermetically sealed bags of overpriced salad in the supermarkets.

Over the last few weeks I have been sowing more Swiss chard, as well as some Florence fennel. Hopefully they can get going and provide us with a good crop into the autumn. There’s still time to sow more peas and dwarf beans, so once the potatoes are dug, I’ll put a row or two of each for a late summer crop of fresh peas and beans. This is the month I start to think about the winter, so I’ll be rifling through the seed box and working out which of the brassicas I can sown now to give me a crop when the days are colder and shorter. For a quick fix, I’ll also be sowing some more radishes. They’re so quick to germinate and swell, and they add an amazing heat and crunch to any salad.

The ongoing jobs of watering and weeding will continue this month. I’m trying to be smart with the watering; only watering those plants that really need it, and making sure that they don’t go from drought to flood too much. In terms of the tomatoes, this consistency is crucial to ensure that the fruits don’t split or become diseased. The pumpkins, squashes, cucumbers, beans and indeed tomatoes, all need tying in to their supports as their tendrils and shoots grow in the summer’s heat. This year I’m trying to control the pumpkin and squash growth by training them up a step ladder and around an old parasol frame. The plan is to tie them in every so often, so I can let the plants become big without them taking over the whole allotment!

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This post is contributing to The Garden Share Collective; an international group of bloggers who share their vegetable patches, container gardens and the herbs they grow on their window sills.


10 thoughts on “July at Plot 4

  1. What gorgeous garden photos. The allium flower is so pretty. So much going on in your garden right now. Lovely to be stopping by via Lizzie’s Garden Share Collective:)

  2. Your alliums are gorgeous and the raspberries look very inviting. It reminds us that you are enjoying warm weather at the moment and are lucky to be picking broad beans. I always think of growing broad beans in winter. Lovely peas and luscious apples, you are growing everything beautifully.

  3. Sounds like you’ve got successional sowing very well sorted. I tried over wintering peas for an early spring harvest but they flowered and produced dismal peas so not quite what I had intended! I love your alliums. Alliums are quite hard to come by here but I do know of one supplier so will be sure to order on time next year and not miss out again 🙂 Will be interested to see how your florence fennel fares. I tried last summer but the bulbs were tiny!

  4. Brilliant idea to have two sowings of broad beans, especially when there’s space for them over the winter. That’s one idea that I’ll be copying ;). I just had the one raised bed sown with beans and they were over all too soon – even the flowers! You’ve reminded me to get some more radishes and chard in – hopefully the slugs will leave them alone although I’m still picking up dozens of slugs from around my french beans.

    • Thanks for comment. The successional sowing seems to have worked with the broad beans. Need to get lettuces and other salad crops resown to keep them cropping too.

  5. Those raspberries look so good. Your summer must be great this year to have such bounties in your garden plot. I have too have attempted to train pumpkins along fences or up stakes to conserve space but have never been successful especially after a huge down pour or rain. I have trained cucumbers successfully though.

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