Fiann’s tips for the weekend

* July is the month when fruiting plants can be laden and in need of support or picking.

* Stop with the asparagus now as new crowns will set from spears left alone from this month.

* Depending on recent weather, some fruit and veg can be approaching drought stress. 

It is the month when we should be most regimented in watering interior-grown plants especially tomatoes to prevent blossom end rot and we should pay attention to beans which will not set in pods if drought-stricken.

* Chicory and calabrese can still be sown outside until end of July.

* Lettuce can be problematic in heat, many varieties have poor germination when temperatures get to 20C so think intercropping for cool shade aid and space saving.

* Some people plant out nasturtiums as a sacrifice plant to blackfly and other pests. I like its taste and decoration in salads so I grow it to be well cared-for as food.

* If you haven’t planted out tagetes (French marigolds) yet, its not too late.

They attract hoverflies, deter many pests and exude thiophenes from their roots to kills off nematodes including potato eelworms. 

As edible gardeners we may also note that their petals supply beautiful vivid colours and a mild citrus flavour for garnish and other culinary purposes.


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