July is the time of year when the garden takes a holiday, packs up and leaves for sunnier climes. Not much dares to raise its head above the soil except for the bravest of plants including citrus which can be harvested in July.
The veggie garden is also home to brave souls like cabbage, chard, leeks and onions which thrive in cold weather at this time of year. Planning carefully will allow you to implement a make-over to the main areas of your veggie garden. Best of all, they make great companion plants and will boost productivity when planted near each other.
It is a great time of year to revive old, nutrient-depleted soil in your garden beds - next year’s crops will reward you with an abundant harvest. Head to your local garden centre to get a few bags of compost and dig this compost into your garden beds, mixing it in well with the existing soil. This will also help aerate the soil which encourages beneficial organisms such as earth worms.
Take a step back and look at the layout of your garden. Replace old, tired features and edging with a fresh new look – your local garden centre will have a variety of options to choose from. Look to see where a new pergola, trellis or seating area would look good and give yourself a winter project. Come spring, there will be plenty of other jobs to keep you occupied!
Lemon trees are in their prime at this time of year and you can harvest their fruits straight from the tree to create home grown Lemon Curd by following this simple recipe:
- 3 eggs
- Juice of 2 lemons (zest optional)
- 60g butter
- 200g sugar
In a glass or metal bowl, beat together the eggs, lemon juice, sugar and melted butter. Put the mixture over a boiling pot and stir whilst it thickens. Once the mixture stops thickening, it is cooked and can be removed from the heat and bottled in sterilized jars – voila, home-made lemon curd!!