Allotment, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Organic, Planting, Vegetables

July is the first month of the year where you get a really bountiful harvest. Loads of fruit and veg are ready to harvest this month, and there’s even more ready to be planted. Here is our at a glance guide to your allotment this month.

harvest of vegetables 

Harvesting 

  • Aubergines
  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Chillies and peppers
  • Courgettes
  • Florence fennel
  • French beans
  • Garlic
  • Globe artichokes
  • Kohl rabi
  • Leaf beet
  • Marrows
  • Onions
  • Oriental mustards
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Runner beans
  • Shallots
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Celery
  • Chicory
  • Cucumbers
  • Lettuces
  • Radishes
  • Rocket
  • Salad leaves
  • Spring onions

Sowing

  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel 
  • Kohlrabi
  • Last Beetroot 

Planting

  • Spinach 
  • Leeks
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower 
  • Sprouting Broccoli 
  • Endives
  • Chickory 
  • Spring onions 

General Jobs

  • Weed regularly
  •  Mulch to conserve moisture
  • Feed tomatoes and peppers
  • Net against birds
  • Pinch out tomato shoots

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

 

Allotment, Gary, Grow Your Own, Herbs, Insects, Pest Control, Planting, Vegetables

June is an important month for the allotment or home grower – the risk of frost is now gone and the days are getting longer and hotter, meaning now is peak growing season for a lot of plants and seedlings. Here’s what’s going on this month: 

Harvesting 

Harvest beetroot

You will be able to lift your early potatoes towards the end of the month and start harvesting soft fruits as soon as they have ripened.  It’s also time to start harvesting

  • Beetroot
  • Broad beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Early peas
  •  Lettuce
  •  Rhubarb
  •  spring onions
  •  Radish
  •  Spinach

Sowing and Planting

prepare your garden soil

Now is the time to start sowing seeds for: 

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbages
  • Cauliflowers
  •  Celeriac
  •  Courgettes
  •  Outdoor cucumbers
  •  French and runner beans
  •  Leeks
  •  Pumpkins
  •  Sweetcorn

Remember that all plants are different, so always follow the instructions on the packet. Outdoor tomatoes can now be planted into their final position, and you can start successional sowings of :

  • Beetroot
  • Kohl rabi
  •  Lettuce 
  •  Winter cabbage 

General

Summer

  • Feed Tomatoes  
  • Protect Fruit 
  • Hoe Weeds 
  • Train in climbing beans 
  •  Put in supports for peas.
  •  Top dress Asparagus them with soil or fertilizer ready for next year
  • Keep plants growing under glass well watered

Pests and Diseases

Aphids  – spraying your brassicas with diluted washing up liquid will deter them from landing on your crops. You can buy insecticides if you prefer, including a fatty acid soap to spray on the plants.

Carrot fly –   a particular problem between May and September when female flies lay their eggs the best defence to cover plants with horticultural fleece or place two-foot high barriers around the plants.

Cabbage root fly– attacking the roots of brassicas, these flies can cause a lot of damage to your plants. Female flies lay the eggs on the surface of the soil next to the stem of the plant. Place a piece of carpet (or cardboard or fleece) around the base of the plant to create a collar, this will stop the flies from laying their eggs on the soil. 

Allotment, Children in the garden, Container Gardening, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Scott

kids grow your own

Teaching our kids about the world around them has never been more important. Knowing where our food comes from can help kids to understand the work that is involved, allow them to engage with nature and get them outside in the fresh air.  

Basic set up

Whatever space you have – it’s enough to begin growing your own fruit and veg.

A single pot – you can teach your kids the entire process of growing food with one plant pot, some soil and seeds. Try a small batch of fruit like strawberries or even some herbs.

A large planter – you can have more of a permanent space with a small variety of things with a planter. Keep it simple with one or two vegetables.

A raised bed – a great way of containing a vegetable garden. It keeps pests away and provides excellent drainage. It will also get your kids outside into the garden where the learning possibilities are limited only by their imagination.

A garden bed – giving a whole section of the garden over to growing your own is a commitment but a satisfying project when it begins to yield results. 

An allotment – the ultimate in growing your own spaces. A dedicated area where you can go with your children to work in the garden, dedicating time to the process but also to spending time as a family. 

 

 

 

Mini projects

grow your own

Grow your own tomato sauce – With some cherry tomatoes and a mixture of herbs (oregano, parsley, chives and basil) you’ll have everything you need to add a delicious sauce to your kid’s dinners. 

Make plant labels – get your kids making their own plant labels using some ice lolly sticks or clothes pegs and a sharpie pen. 

Mystery planting – buy yourself some vegetable seeds and empty them into small blank envelopes. Put them all together and let your kids pick out an envelope of seeds to plant and grow outside in a garden bed. What emerges can be a surprise for you all.

Start a grow bag – a grow bag offers up all the nutrients you need from your soil along with a semi-permanent container to grow in. These are great for growing tomatoes. 

Grow a fruit salad – an ideal project for a raised bed or some large planters. There are plenty of berries that can grow well in the UK like strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Grow a selection and make a delicious fruit salad or blend them up with oat milk for a healthy smoothie! 

Tips for getting kids engaged 

kids gardening

  • Give your kids responsibility: whether its asking plenty of questions on what they would like to grow and where to grow it or giving them their own section of the garden, give them the ability to learn by doing.
  • Select fast-growing seeds: things like radishes and salad leaves are excellent for keeping impatient kids interested. You may find them more willing to try new foods if they’ve grown them in their own garden too. 
  • Pick out some gardening clothes: pick out some clothes from your kid’s wardrobe that they won’t mind getting dirty. Encourage them to get their hands a little messy in the soil. Planting and growing can be just as much a time of play as a time of learning. 
  • Gardening tools: Think of gardening tools as practical toys. Giving your kids a set of mini tools that they can use in the garden can teach them the process of growing your own as well as ownership and responsibility.  

 

Scott at PrimroseScott Roberts is a copywriter currently making content for the Primrose site and blog. When at his desk he’s thinking of new ways to describe a garden bench. Away from his desk he’s either looking at photos of dogs or worrying about the environment. He does nothing else, just those two things.

See all of Scott’s posts.

Allotment, Evie, Gardening, Grow Your Own, How To

Apple Picking

Apple tree harvesting has begun! If you’re new to fruit trees, you may be feeling like a complete pomology beginner with far too many apples to know what to do with and not a clue how to store them. The best news is: you don’t have to eat them all now in a hurry or bulk bake enough apple pies to last all year. With the right storage method and environment, you can keep your apples fresh for up to six months or even longer. 

To make the process of storing your apples easier, I’ve answered some popular apple storing FAQs below and provided some helpful tips to ensure that you get the most from your harvest this year.

Which apples store the best?

In terms of apple varieties, it is worth noting that thicker and harder skinned apples (e.g. Granny Smith or McIntosh) tend to last longer in storage than the thinner skinned varieties (e.g. Pink Lady). This is because softer skinned apples are at a greater risk of bruising, therefore making them quicker to rot in storage.

Should I wash apples before storing?

You do not need to wash apples before storing, unless they are dirty. In this case, be very gentle not to bruise the apple and ensure that it is completely dry before storing. 

Careful handling is essential for the first stage of apple storing. When picking apples for storage, select the best example fruits. Be sure to use up any damaged apples in your cooking, and exclude them in your selection for storage. Bruised apples will spoil quickly and cause other apples to spoil too. It really is true what they say: “one bad apple spoils the barrel”.

Harvested apples in storage barrels

Why does “one bad apple spoil the barrel”?

Apples have feelings… Just kidding – it’s actually the effect of ethylene gas. Apples naturally produce ethylene gas as they ripen, but if an apple is damaged in some way, it produces more ethylene gas than it would normally. Apples neighbouring the spoiled fruit are tricked into ripening at a more rapid rate than expected, causing them to over ripen and go rotten. If you’ve ever noticed your fruit bowl banana ripening at a much faster rate when it is placed next to an apple, then now you know why! It’s important not to store your apples in a close proximity to other stored fruit and vegetables, if you’d like them to last.

What are the best conditions to store apples?

For the best storing conditions, look for cooler temperatures that are slightly humid; dark or dim settings; and completely frost-free. If you have a garage or cellar, these are often ideal locations. Apples soften and change texture quickly when kept in ambient temperatures, so it’s best to keep them cool to maintain quality for a longer time period. Covering the apples will keep them out of direct sunlight and ensure a more consistent temperature.

How to prepare your apples for storage

Individually wrap each apple in newspaper to maximise storage life. Wrapping each apple will prevent contamination to others if they did spoil sooner than expected. It will also provide a layer of protection to prevent bruising when containers are moved around or accidentally knocked.

What is the best way to store apples?

Lay the apples in a single layer in a drawer, rack or stand. The Lacewing apple storage collection offers a variety of sizes and drawer capacities – ranging from one tray, up to a unit containing 13 drawers. Units including slotted drawers allow for easy access to your fruit or vegetables, and allow you to maximise on storage capacity in a practical manner. Allow air flow to your apples through slatted racks to keep them fresh and cool whilst in storage. Be sure to keep a check every now and again, removing any spoiled apples from the storage unit. 

Apple storage rack gif

Most importantly, enjoy your freshly stored produce – even all the way through to winter!

Shop fruit storage and fruit presses now, or find out more information about apple trees and harvesting below.

Posts you may also like…

Apple Trees Buying Guide

Why has your apple tree produced a poor crop?

How to make cider at home

Evie works in the Primrose Marketing Team.

Growing up in the English countryside, she likes nothing more than to be surrounded by nature’s peace and quiet, with the addition of the family pets of course!

Evie is passionate about all things digital marketing and loves the challenge of combining creativity with online content.

When not at her desk, you’ll typically find her in the gym, posting on social media, or watching a popular series on Netflix!

See all of Evie’s posts.