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Rooko's July Top 10 Tryouts & Tips

1. If you are harvesting oodles of fruit this year, 1 use for it, is to puree it and freeze it for future use. Simmer the fruit until soft then add to a blender until smooth, sweeten to taste. Try it with iced cream or mix with yoghurts or mousses.

2. Don't neglect your herb plants during the Summer. Herbs will go to seed the same as other types of plants so pinch out the heads as soon as they appear, should stop the bitter taste of the herb as well.

3. The past couple of weeks have been generally hot and dry here in Somerset, causing extra watering of many plants. To conserve water, do your watering either early mornings or late evening to alleviate evaporation from the soils surface.

4. Plenty of weeds in your garden or plot?? Try spraying them with vinegar and save on expensive weed killers. Using vinegar as a weed killer may lower the pH of the soil slightly but this should only be temporary.

5. Many gardeners grow lots of flowers in small pots, perhaps arranged around the garden, patio or other spaces. Small pots tend to dry out more quickly than larger ones during hot weather. Why not consolidate the plants from the smaller pots into larger pots, creating new displays and cutting down on the extra time and effort of watering and feeding.

6. When budding gardeners take over a new allotment or garden one important factor that is forgotten is the required depth of top soil. Before reaching the, usually, compacted level of the sub-soil a depth of 1 foot (35cm) of top soil is a good starting point.

7. If you are lucky enough to be lifting Carrots this month, do this on dry wind free evenings, to cut down on any "Carrot Smells" attracting the dreaded Carrot flies.

8. Add chicken manure tea to your garden or plot. 1 part manure to 4 parts water. It is high in Nitrogen so take care not to burn any plants when watering with it. 

9. Potatoes are heavy feeders requiring, Potassium and Phosphorus. Add fertilizer after planting and a couple of times during the growing period.

10. A few more reminders for July:

1. Sow French Beans, Beetroot, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage Spring Cabbage, Chicory, Kohl-rabi, Lettuce, Peas, Radish.
1. Watering is usually a major task during July.
2. Mulching may help to retain water in the soil but be on the lookout for slugs and other pests.
3. Keep weeds at bay with more hoeing.
4. Feed tomatoes and Onions.
5. Check Brassicas for caterpillars/eggs.
6. Water brassicas with a salt & water mix to keep caterpillars off them.


  1. A few months ago you were deluged with rain, and now you are preoccupied with watering. Maintaining the correct level of moisture is the gardener's No.1 task, I think. At least this year I have had practically no problem with caterpillars or slugs.

    1. Funny how massively changeable the weather has been so far this year, your right about the correct amount of watering. Very little damage here also from slugs or snails. Some flea beetle damage to Kohl-rabi though

  2. Never heard of the vinegar trick. Doesn't the salt water harm the brassicas?

    1. Hi Sue, as you will know vinegar is acidic, it will kill some broad leafs but other plants also. I've only used it around paved areas and repeat applications are usually needed. With the salt water, yep its hit and miss depending on how much salt is added to the water. Trial and error I'm afraid.

  3. Your list of what I can still sow is very useful. Our Coriander has gone to seed but looks so pretty I can't cut it down. Next year I will do what you say with it. I wish our carrots would grow. They are still so tiny. Thank you for your advice. Marion.

    1. Glad you found the list helpful Marion. Its not an extensive list and of course weather, soil and various other conditions have to be contended with. It's still early in the year for most massive Carrots.


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