July In The Vegie Patch

July harvestYou could be forgiven for thinking that the vegie patch has had its day by frosty, cold July. I wanna show you otherwise – come take a look round my July garden. The greenhouse is giving us sweet peppers, chillies, celery, the occassional tomato, lettuces, coriander and beetroot. Outside – leafy greens abound (chard, parsley, kale and rocket at the mo); bok choy, brocolli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage ripen at intervals and we pick away at the carrots, parsnips and yams that hold so well in our cold winter soils. And then there’s the stores – pumpkin, kumara, potatoes, onions, shallots and garlic. Yip, I’d say July’s pretty bountiful. Worth a bit of late summer/ autumn legwork don’t you think?!

July’s Jobs

Its time to get creating – new beds, new roses, more flowers and new trees. Get gathering too – plenty of organic matter to underpin next seasons vitality.

Create new gardens. Make it easy on yourself with a no dig beginning – there is no better start than a big pile of organic matter.

Divide herbs and perennials and spread them far and wide throughout your garden to increase your biodiversity, your homemade mulch supply and bee fodder.

Sort your seed stocks and make sure you have plenty of greencrops, flowers, greenhouse crops and spring crops because next month we get back into seed sowing.

Prune roses, berries and fruit trees.

Plant deciduous fruit trees, shelter trees, horseradish, rhubarb, globe artichokes, garlic, shallots, onions, asparagus, kale, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Plant salads under cover.

Direct Sow peas, sno peas, broadbeans, spinach, mustard, parsnip, turnip, kohlrabi, radish and poppies.

Renew your soil and sow legume greencrops after brassicas.

Get out your hoe (as long as your soil is not soggy) to weed and aerate. Winter soil looses it’s omph, translating to plants loosing their oomph. Air brings life, it does wonders.

Load up on manure, seaweed and other OM (organic matter) delights. Get ready to set some stunning soil in motion come spring.

july greenhouse


  1. Lucy Trolove says:

    Kath my message in the coffee buying space doesn’t make sense as I was hoping to put more than $5 in your account! Pay Pal got ahead of me! I am sorry!
    Lucy T

    • No worries Lucy – was a kind thought. And its given me the idea of options – a coffee, a glass of wine, a whole bottle!!!! Be great to share one in real life though next time I’m down 🙂

  2. Hi Kath,
    Which type of loppers do you get from saw makers,I have bought a few from other places and they just don’t cut the mustard!

    • I’ve had them so long I cant remember the name of them but they are blue and I call them super loppers – perhaps called this in real life – or perhaps I made it up. I agree though – they are by far and away the best. Check out levin sawmakers website – you’ll find them there. Happy pruning!

  3. Alana Cornforth says:

    Hi Kath I’m looking at getting some EM but am a bit baffled by their list of products. What would you recommend for someone starting out with only 6 raised beds (1m x 2m)? And do you always mix it with molasses? Thanks!

    • I agree Alana! I’d love to rewrite their stuff and make it easier to navigate! Expanding it (adding molasses etc) makes it super cheap and if that kind of brewing up/setting up pumps etc floats your boat then do it – it reduces the cost by a heap, but even with the financial reward that doesn’t do it for me – I just want to buy it and use it right away, so I get the plain EM1 concentrate. I use it at 1ml per litre making it go a long way. If you are just trying it out probably best to get the 1litre bottle of EMgarden and see what you think. Such a great way to build biology quickly in a new garden. best Kath

  4. Hi Kath,
    I have bought your pruning book and it has helped me immensely but I have a Question. We have a new property with 47 fruit trees about 5 years old. The pear tree branches are all narrow crotches so a really tight tall tree with little openness. If I chopped off the narrow crotches there would be nothing left! What would you recommend?

    • Oh yes -pears are famous for this! Being an older tree how I’d approach it is to completely remove a few of the tallest branches doing your best to leave the tree in a balanced well spread shape. Head back remaining scaffolds by about a third, then remove a portion of narrow crotches to stimulate new growth from which you can start to rebuild your tree with next year – repeat the reducing and thinning out of height and narrow crotches and eventually in 3 or 4 or 5 years you’ll get a nice shaped tree. From then on you’ll be removing narrow crotches when the wood is pencil size – easy peasy aye! It is possible to take the tree off at the knees and begin again – I know people who do this but I cannot 🙂 Best Kath