Fruit and Vegetables at the End of July
Brussels sprouts attacked by aphids and showing yellowing and distorted leaves, should be sprayed immediately. Daily picking of the runner beans will encourage the plant to crop on until September, and this is important to remember.
It is time to sow spinach for winter use. Water the drills several hours before sowing and then cover with cloches, if you do this then there is spinach to be had right through the winter. When four trusses have formed on the outside tomatoes, the leader or main shoot should be pinched out so that the plant can put its entire energy into ripening the fruit. A few large leaves may be removed from the plant, but it must not be stripped
Cow, poultry and horse manure (and soot) can all be treated as a liquid feed for tomatoes and others. The humus or soot should be placed in a bag or old sock and soaked in a tub of water for three or four days until the liquid becomes tea-coloured. A stake long enough to span the bucket or tub should be placed across the container, from which the bag can be hung and left to soak.
What are you doing about the fruit in your garden at this time? Have all the fallen fruitlets from the June drop been picked up and destroyed? This is especially important if the premature fall has been caused by codling moth.
Clean up the raspberry rows, because old stumps are a happy hunting ground for pests and disease and should be cut down to ground level. Tie in young growth and treat the plants to a generous dressing of compost. Have a care with the hoe for the raspberry has vulnerable surface feeding roots.
Blackberries and loganberries can be increased by layering. This entails making a slit of 1 & 1/2 – 2 ins. on the underside of a stem, then bending the stem to the ground and burying the slit in a small mound of compost, pegging it securely in place.
Now go and enjoy a cup of tea or even something stronger.