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The Kitchen Garden

Its the height of the summer and we are coming into a time of plenty. But there is still a lot you can be getting on with in the kitchen garden.
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Summer sowings of beetroot, spring onions, carrots, chicory, radish, spinach, swiss chard, and even turnips can be direct sown now. For salad leaves, sow the oriental leaf varieties such as Pak choi, Mustard Greens, Komatsuna and Mizuna. All these are better off started later as they avoid the life cycle of the Flea Beetle – the pest that peppers tiny holes all over the leaves.

Sow them in both July and another sowing in August to keep yourself in fresh leaves right up until November/December. Seeds sown in September will overwinter as small plants, growing on during early spring next year to be picked as early as February. Just make sure you keep them well watered and protect from slugs.

  • Keep up with the weeding and watering, you know its important for a healthy crop.
  • Use any rotted down compost to spread over the surface of the soil once you have watered or after rainfall as this will help retain the moisture in and keep the weeds away.
  • For garlic, onions and shallots, when you see the leaves turning yellow and brown its time to ripen them. Wait for a dry spell and carefully lift them and lay onto the ground in the sun to dry for a couple of days.
  • Continue to harvest courgettes, runner and French beans, be sure to pick them before they get too large and stringy.
  • Remember to keep tomatoes well fed with a liquid seaweed feed every week. Dont water over the leaves as this can contribute to the devastating tomato blight. Do continue to remove any side shoots that form in the V between leaf stems and main stems, as this will allow more energy for fruit development.