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Terry's Tomato Tips

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Jobs for November

Jobs for November

  • Collecting leaves for leaf mould
  • Clean greenhouse glass
  • Sort out your compost bins- spread on your beds if ready, otherwise turn and amalgamate bins to make room for all your autumn clearances
  • Cover beds with cardboards – some plants like beans can just be left on the surface and covered and they will rot over winter and be taken in by the worms
  • Don’t tidy up too much as overwintering insects and beetles need places to shelter and flowers and seed heads will still be used for feeding
  • Clear your greenhouse and you can re-sow with winter salad
  • Plant spring cabbage plants outside or in a cold greenhouse or cloche. If planting outside cover with netting to deter the pigeons
  • Plant spring bulbs in beds or pots

Jobs for the Month: July

There isn’t s much to plant this month as you will be starting to harvest.
Chard, peas and beetroot can still be sown as can parsley.
Plants to harvest may include beans (French and runners) beetroot, broad beans, summer cabbage (Greyhound, hispi), early calabrese, carrots, early potatoes, rocket and spinach.
The weeds will need keeping in check and you should keep feeding, Seaweed liquid can be fed directly to the pants or you can spray the leaves.
Growing tips - Seeds to plant in August

  • Leaf salad winter mix can be sown outdoors up to October or indoors throughout the winter
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Salad onion White Lisbon winter hardy
  • Chicory Grumlo Verde- green rossettes ready to eat in spring
  • Pak choi tatsoi- flat spoon like dark green leaves; sow from July onwards
  • Pak choi baby choi – a half size pak choi, sow until early autumn
  • Cabbage wheeelers imperial – dark green, compact pointed heads
  • Asparagus lettuce Cracoviensis – a loose leaved lettuce, looks a bit like a cos which can be sown from July and will bolt to produce edible stems that taste like asparagus
  • Turnips – many different types. White globe, golden ball, purple top mild and zurcher are some of the more interesting ones

If you are really quick you could get a last sowing of carrot autumn king, spinach and the winter radishes.

It’s is also the time to think about ordering your autumn sown onion sets and shallots, and it won’t be long before you are ordering your garlic bulbs!

Jobs for the Month: May

Many veg seeds can be sown direct, put your supports in place first for climbing varieties such as beans. Otherwise you can sow the seeds into 9cm (3 1/2 in) pots of multipurpose compost and place on the bench in a heated glasshouse or on a warm windowsill. This early sowing can then be moved into a cold frame once germinated, so the plants acclimatise gradually, before being planted outside towards the end of this month.

Further sowings of late peas, radish, carrot, lettuce and beetroot can be made into drills outside. This will ensure you get a continuous supply to harvest throughout the year. Potatoes need earthing up, as the shoots show hoe soil over them to act as a blanket protecting them from frost. Any tender plants you have kept under glass over winter can now start to be hardened off and moved outside but do it gradually.

Plants needs bees so grow as many pollinating plants as possible!

Vine weevil is one of this month’s enemy so either use a biological control* or spend evenings outside picking them off. Another is the dreaded lily beetles. If you are growing lilies in borders or containers, make sure you are vigilant this month as they will be active munching on the foliage of lilies. Adult lily beetles are easily recognisable as they are an attractive bright red colour, keep a close watch over your plants and pick the lily beetles off with finger and thumb as soon as they are seen.

Keep the onions and garlic you planted last autumn well-watered and weed free
Strawberry plants will start to produce a lot of flower, and to encourage a good fruit harvest, feed your plants with high potash granular feed. Carefully work the feed into the soil in-between the plants, or the tops of the containers. Plants in the ground can then have some straw mulch placed around the plants to protect the developing fruit as it grows.

This is the ideal time to sow some of the hardy and quick growing herbs like dill, coriander, rocket, and parsley. As the soil is warmer, so you can sow these seeds direct into the herb or vegetable garden outside in shallow drills, or into containers on the patio ready for harvesting later in the year.

Deadhead tulips and daffodils.
 Once they have finished flowering, prune spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia,
Hardy annual seeds can be sown anytime this month up to the beginning of June and will reward you with a colourful summer display. Try sowing some nasturtiums, sunflowers, cornflowers, godetia or calendulas.

Towards the end of the month, plant out some of summer bedding plants into their final positions, once the plants have been hardened them off properly for a few weeks in a cold frame so they are acclimatised to outdoor conditions before planting.

A useful resource is the Garden Organics site which has lots of info on e.g. weeds, nematodes and comfrey!

Jobs for the Month: June

This is the month when you can start to relax a little after the hectic period of planting out the early crops, although there are still more seeds to sow and plants to get into the ground.

French and runner beans can be sown directly into the ground, along with beetroot and late growing calabrese. A second sowing of carrots and peas can be made. Pumpkin plants, courgettes and outdoor tomatoes are safe to play out now as the danger of frost has passed and its time to get the sweetcorn plants in. Plant them in a block to aid pollination.

It is time to pinch out the side shoots of tomatoes if you want them to grow taller (cordens) and feed all tomatoes weekly.

Hopefully you will be picking salad crop and re-sowing to keep a succession going. It’s the last month to sow Basil indoors.

You can use pelleted feed as a way to boost the nutrients in the soil.

Jobs for the Month: April

This is the month when we start seeing brighter sunnier days and can get fooled into planting things out too soon. The soil needs to warm up a bit more first and drain after all the heavy rain we have had recently. Seeds planted in cold wet soil will simply rot. So as you get your beds ready don’t forget to add in as much compost as you can get and maybe add some pelleted fertiliser to scatter on prior to planting; I use the plant based one Viano and I have also bought some seaweed feed for giving everything a boost once they have started growing.

So it’s time to get the seed packets in date order so you can get plants started at home, in greenhouses or cold fames ready to go out when the weather is better; remember we can get frosts up here into June, so putting out courgettes now will end in tears, keep them back and growing somewhere cool until towards the end of May. Likewise most seed packets give the earliest sowing date as if you lived in the south of England, always best to aim for the middle date they suggest for sowing directly.

Read more: Jobs for the Month: April

Terry's Tomato Tips

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From Val's Plot

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Jack First's Advice

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