July is yet another busy but rewarding month on the allotment plot. There will be crops to harvest and plenty to sow in preparation for autumn and winter crops.
If it is a dry July, there will be plenty of watering to be done; especially thirsty plants like beans and young, vulnerable plants. If it is a particularly warm month, it is best to do your watering early in the morning so that the sun does not scorch the plant's foliage. The evenings are cooler but the wet and warm conditions will be an open invitation to the slugs and snails.
Pests and diseases need to be kept under control. Watch out for tomato blight if it is damp and pinch out the tomato plants.
Fruit trees that are ladened with forming fruits may require thinning out or some supporting stakes to help the branches from breaking. Prune apple trees this month. Strawberry runners can be potted or plugged directly in the ground to provide new crops.
Snap off spearheads forming on onions.
Keep hoeing and turning over the soil with a hand trowel to rid smaller crops of weeds emerging and to freshen up the soil that can become cracked and hard. Keep adding organic matter, like well-rotted manure or compost.
Greenhouses should be checked for pests and kept well ventilated. Shading may be needed if it is a hot July.
With regular summer crops being harvested, it should hopefully free up some space for autumn planting but if you are lacking in room, there are many crops that can be grown in containers.
Keep mulching where necessary to help retain the moisture and supress the weeds.
If you're on top with plot jobs this month, it is a good opportunity to get other jobs; that sometimes get pushed back, done on a sunny day like painting or treating the shed, tidying up pathways and edges, mending fencing and more.
Don't forget the hat and suncream!