Tag Archives: Kitchen Garden

Tomatoes on plant

July Jobs in the Kitchen Garden

July Jobs

July is known to be a hot and dry month so a lot of watering in the vegetable garden is necessary. Aside from this, there are many other ‘July jobs’ to be done to ensure a fruit and vegetable yield as high as possible! Here are the jobs that need doing this July;


  1. tomatoes on plant1. Reduce water loss by mulching to trap the water and hoeing to break up the soil.
  2. 2. Sow the final seeds; you can still sow these in July
    1. Turnips, beetroot, carrots, chicory, spring cabbage and radishes
  3. 3. Plant out; broccoli, leeks and cabbage are all ready to be planted out into firm soil now
  4. 4. Pepper plants – should be moved into a larger pot
  5. 5. Tomato plants – pinch out side shoots and feed them with a fertiliser such as Tomorite once a week. Also remove leaves underneath the first fruit to avoid disease. Ensure that when you water them the moisture is spread evenly to avoid split fruit or blossom rot.
  6. 6. Aubergine plants – get rid of the growing tip after you count around 5 fruits to allow them to put their energy into this.
  7. 7. Courgette plants– also get rid of the growing tip. Picking young fruit regularly will enable more fruit to grow.
  8. 8. Runner beans– harvest beans regularly as this wills top them becoming stringy and will also allow new beans to develop.
  9. 9. Check often for disease, blackfly and butterfuly eggs and get rid of anything that you find including any dead foliage around the plants.


  1. ripe raspberry1. Give fruit plants a good soaking in any dry spells, especially those with swelling fruits such as apples.
  2. 2. Net around your fruit plants to deter birds.
  3. 3. Give the fruit trees a thinning to help give a larger yield.
  4. 4. Give fruit plants that are in containers an high potash feed such as Tomorite.
  5. 5. Prune apricot, peach, plum and cherry trees and blackcurrant bushes once you have harvested.

Ask our experts in store for any more advice!

Potatoes- what on earth?

Potatoes – what on earth?

We often hear the phrase ‘Earthing up’ whilst speaking about potatoes, especially around this time of the year. It is much simpler and more useful than it may sound!

Earthing up

Earthing up or ridging as it is sometimes known, is simply drawing up soil into a ridge above the row of planted potatoes. You can do this as soon as foliage emerges above the surface.


  •  it protects the early foliage from any frost damage.
  •  it blocks light from reaching the tubers which can have the adverse effect of turning the tubers green and making them inedible. To make sure this is always happening, we recommend earthing up in stages.
  • finally, the piled up soil can help to lock in moisture which allows the tubers to ‘swell’ and grow.

 For container potatoes

Maybe you have decided to grow potatoes in sacks or containers, if so the process of earthing up still applies- simply add layers of compost in stages as the stems begin to grow. Carry on until you reach the top of the container. A good heap of about 8 inches / 20-cm should be enough.

Don’t rush

After all your efforts with earthing up, don’t give in to the temptation of harvesting your crops too early. For early potatoes be sure to wait until the flowers are completely out and for the main crop variety you can hold back until the foliage begins to turn yellow.



July in the Kitchen Garden

It’s gearing up to be a busy time in the kitchen garden. Here our our top tips for July:

Top Tips

Plant specially prepared potato tubers for a Christmas crop. Imagine home grown puds on Christmas Day – yum yum. Plant in a sheltered spot.

Treat woolly aphid on apples by scrubbing off their white protective ‘wool’ with a stiff bristled brush.

Ensure all your fruit and vegetables get watered regularly ideally using harvested rainwater.

If you find orange spots on the top of pear leaves, it is pear rust. Pick off and destroy the affected leaves.

If you are growing cordon tomatoes, remove the main shoot where they hit your greenhouse roof or a leaf or two above the seventh flower truss if that is sooner.

Prune your plums and cherries after fruiting. Remove the damaged, weak and crossing branches first and then thin out remaining branches if necessary.

For more detailed advice please visit one of our Exeter based garden centres and ask one of our friendly plant team.


The Kitchen Garden in June

The Kitchen Garden in June can be a busy time. Here are some tasks you may want to be thinking about:

  1. Continue planting out or direct sowing French and Runner Beans.
  2. Check Gooseberries for sawfly larvae. These look like caterpillars and they will eat all your leaves. Hand-pick (and squash) the culprits or spray with a suitable approved insecticide or organic alternative suitable for use on fruit and vegetable plants.
  3. Protect other soft fruit from hungry birds by securely covering with netting.
  4. Water tomatoes thoroughly and regularly to help prevent blossom end rot.
  5. Sow fennel and oriental greens like pak choi.
  6. Use gaps between your slow maturing brassicas to sow quick maturing salad leaf crops or radishes.
  7. Sow carrots for storing through the winter like Autumn King 2.
  8. If you have leek transplants, plant them when they are pencil thick into deep holes (6 inches deep/15cm) and water well.
  9. Sow squash, sweet corn and pumpkins directly into prepared ground.

For further help and advice please see our helpful staff in store.