The shortest day has now passed by and it is the perfect time to sow onion seed or plant seedlings. Choose a sunny well drained position which has been generously limed. If sowing onions from seed ensure good viable, fresh seed is used and not old seed from the previous year. Add a little washed river sand or propagation sand, allowing the seed to be more evenly distributed and gently dribble the seed into the drill. Germination is quick and will only take 3-4 weeks.

Now is a great time to plant Broad beans, Asparagus, Spinach, Seed potato, Brussel sprouts, Spring onion, Broccoli, Peas, Rhubarb, Radish and our locally grown and ever popular New Zealand yams are now available for planting. If you would like to grow cabbages it is best to wait a few months, maybe consider the popular European alternative, edible Kale. Kale is especially good when grown through winter and flavour improves when harvested after a frost. Kale is becoming extremely popular and is packed with nutritional benefits – a great cabbage or spinach substitute.”

If resting an area in your veggie garden, it’s a great time to add green manure crop. Green manuring will help your soil in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, green manure boosts your plots organic matter whilst storing nutrients from leaching and provides microbial activity and improving soil structure. A perfect living mulch our green manure mixture contains a blend of Oats, Dun Peas, Lupins and Rye Corn that will protect soil from erosion whilst adding these amazing natural soil benefits. It is essential that the seed does not dry out during the germination period. Just simply broadcast (or spread) the seeds by hand in an even manner. It sometimes makes the distribution a bit easier if you mix the seeds with sand or soil so you have more control over where it goes. After you spread the seeds, rake the soil to cover them sufficiently.

July Job List

  • Now is the time to purchase winter strawberry runners available in bundles of ten. Single potted strawberries will also be available in early spring however the bare rooted runners which are now available are excellent value – but you need to be quick.
  • Prepare and plant garden beds for berry fruits. New stock of gooseberry, thornless blackberry and raspberries have all just arrived and are best planted now whilst dormant. Spray berry fruit with now Lime sulfur to ensure good heathy new growth once the warmer weather arrives
  • Apply Lime to lilac trees – they love it! Remove any suckers from your trees and don’t forget if planting a new lilac tree, you should actually bury the graft unlike other grafted trees……if you do find privet suckers near a lilac tree it is generally a sign that your tree has been planted too high at the time of planting. …ask us and we can help!
  • Spray roses now with Lime sulfur to control powdery mildew and fungal disease. A little effect now will reward you with strong and heathy roses for the season ahead.
  • July is pruning time – Roses and fruit trees (other than Apricots) should be pruned this month. Not sure how – ask us – we are the pruning experts.
  • Now’s the time to plant fruit trees! Prior to planting soak in a diluted solution of Seasol to maximise root development and reduce transplanting shock.