Fruit and vegetable tips for July
Here are some quick tips to improve plant quality and therefore crop yield.
Most tomatoes are grown in greenhouses as “cordons” to improve fruit size and quality. This is done by removing the side shoots that appear in the angle between the main stem and each branch. Side shoots should be pinched out when small so keep doing this throughout the growing period. Allowing side shoots to develop will weaken the fruit growing on the main plant as energy will be diverted into the side shoots.
Feed tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers with a high potash liquid feed diluted in water (such as tomato fertiliser). Try to water consistently.
If you grow apples the “June Drop” should have taken place and excess apples will have fallen to the ground. However, it is still worth thinning the crop out further to ensure the remaining apples grow to a good size and quality. It will also let light and air in around the fruit which will prevent rot and disease.
When removing apples from a cluster, always leave the healthiest looking fruit and remove the smaller or damaged ones.
Cherry and plum trees can be pruned in July. Always start by removing the “3 Ds” (dead, damaged and diseased branches) with the aim being to create an open structure to the tree.
Keep earthing up potatoes to stop any tubers becoming exposed to sunlight as this will turn them green. First earlies are usually ready for harvesting in June and June.
Post by Charlotte Ridley, RHS qualified garden designer