What a muddle of a month we’ve had, a few bright moments, but my goodness when it has rained, we’ve known all about it. There has been a sense of autumn for weeks and trees laden with berries from quite early. It is almost as though the seasons have slipped forward a month. Certainly there was no trace of frost as we turned into April and anyone planting early got away with it. When the sun came it came in blistering style across the middle of June and then stopped and as we entered July the muddles began.
The vegetable production has been good and indeed the strong vegetation has supported lively cropping of most things. The blight did knock out the tomatoes, but most other things looked good. At the moment our winter and spring greens all look solid too. The Spring Cabbage has made good leaf and the stalky sprouts and Purples all look in good order. As always at this time, it is worth tramping the rows to firm in roots, as these taller veg are getting top heavy. If you are wanting to fill a few gaps then winter onions and shallots are there to take, there are bits of winter lettuce too. As the month closes make sure that you have your Aquadulce broad beans to hand.
The seasonal flowers are all looking well bashed, with only the geraniums really holding up. Many subjects were knocked out very quickly and a lot of snapdragons took a real thump from rust. So, borders are there to liven up and autumn bedding is in plentiful supply everywhere. There are pansies, violas as well as bellis, wallflowers and Sweet William and all need to get planted. You still have time for bulbs too, so get cracking. Before we know it the leaves will be down, so you can start getting a bit of tidying up underway. Gentle pruning is good in the next couple of weeks and it is also time to plan if you are considering new trees, shrubs and fruit. New soft fruit will be on the shelf towards the middle of the month, with raspberries being offered as bare rooted. Site preparation is worthwhile, but do try to be generous with space, soft fruit does benefit from annual maintenance (raspberries can invade).
And finally keep on top of the lawn and consider prodding it with a fork to get some air into it. Improving the movement of air and water will reduce moss on the lawn…………..be warned it is coming.