Alan G says: Alan has been working the vegetable garden plots in this village for 20 years. He has real experience with our soil and microclimate. Alan suggests using Yates garden guide, which classes this part of Victoria as ‘cold’. He says this is a very reliable guide for our garden. This guide is displayed in the middle hot house.
Here are Alan's suggestions for July.
Silverbeet. Onions: Start your seeds in the hothouse. Seeds will emerge in 10-14 days. When approximately 100mm high, transplant to your plot. 24-32 weeks to picking. Potatoes: Buy seed potatoes. Good varieties are: pontiac, sebago, desiree and pink eyes. Plant in single rows. Row spacing 75cm. Plant potatoes 20-25cm apart to a depth of 10cm into well prepared soil and compost. Broad Beans: Start seeds in an old polystyrene meat tray covered with a damp cloth. Shoots will emerge in 10-14 days. Keep cloth damp. Plant in your plot. Peas: Dwarf and climbing varieties. Prepare a trellis for your peas. Plant both types in direct rows to about 40mm deep and keep watered. They will emerge in 7-10 days. GOOD GROWING!!!
The winter solstice has passed, days will get longer and the wattles are in full bloom but July does not mean that spring is here yet. July temperatures are as wintery as June. It is the month when many of the spring crops can be sown as seeds or planted from punnets. It is generally reckoned that veg crops can grow on days that top 15 degC – that is half the days in this month
July is the best month for planting broad beans and bush peas. These will be finished by the end of October so they can then be replaced by summer crops like tomatoes, capsicum, melons, eggplant etc.
Soft leaved greens can be sown or planted in July. Lettuce, spinach, rocket and leaf beets should all be given a nitrogen fertilizer like fish emulsion or chicken poo so that on warm days they will grow quickly.
First of the root-crops to be planted is beetroot. Planted now it can be picked to go with spring salads or stay in the ground until summer. Radishes can also be planted and be harvested in 6 or 7 weeks.
Maincrop onions of all kinds are good sown or planted in July, to be harvested in December. Spring onions, shallots and chives can go in too.
July is a good time to re-stock the herb garden. Most perennial herbs can be planted in July – but NOT BASIL which needs to wait for more warmth.
Potatoes may be planted in trenches and the new shoots protected against frost.
If you like to grow your own tomatoes or capsicum from seed as early as possible, they can be sown from now on, under glass.
Frosts will be a threat until mid-August so any sensitive plants may be protected overnight with newspaper, removed the following morning.