So we arrive at the end of the month still puzzling over what exactly is going on. It has been a strange season (yes, another one) and how many permutations we see, with high humidity, torrential storms and heat enough to lift the tarmac, it’s been quite tropical. With high humidity has come disease unfortunately and the blight swept into July and has caused havoc in both potato and tomato crops. There has been plenty of mildew and black spot too. Once these things arrive it is really difficult to manage them, so don’t just throw money at them. Heavily infected material must be destroyed or the spores will just hang around and carrying on creating havoc. In the case of Black Spot and Mildew this means removing badly infected leaves. If it’s blight however, try to get the debris out with the bin in green waste. If your plants are clean then you can flash across with a fungicide to offer a preventative barrier, undoubtedly keeping good order until something decides to eat it.
As we move into the month bulbs will start to appear in the garden centres. They create colourful displays, but there is no rush to buy unless you want Hyacinths for Christmas. If they take your fancy, make sure the label says they are ‘prepared’ and try to plant them by the middle of the month. Any other purchasing will be to do with making sure you get the varieties you want and there are as one would expected plenty of new things. Once bought pack them away somewhere cool and dark for a couple of weeks. Planted early they may decide to produce too much foliage too early. Before we know it,we will be onto winter pansies. Keep an eye open for the Wave series which are wonderful in overwintering baskets. They have a good trailing habit and will give a spectacular show if you get them planted at the turn of the month. On the vegetable front,you can still play with pinches of salad, all of the salad roots will come and given the early disasters with Radishes and the wet, I will promise late success.
And finally carrots. It has been almost impossible to get a decent row of carrots this spring. So, try again. Take out a shallow drill, water it and then sow in some Burpee short or Parisienne globes. The seed is cheap,the varieites are fast and you may just pull a fast onewhilst nature looks away.