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Planning Retirement Online

The Kitchen Garden  

                                     July 2010



This is the best of months for enjoying the fruits of your labours.




  • Nip out the growing tips of broad beans to discourage blackfly and start to pick when the pods are just 2 to 3 inches long, when they can be cooked and eaten whole.
  • Peas and mange tout need to be picked frequently when young, which will encourage the plants to produce more flowers and thereby prolonging the picking season.
  • We use perpetual beet spinach and have been using the plants for a couple of weeks now, we just cut the leaves off with scissors and the plants continue to produce new leaves throughout the summer.
  • Lettuce and spring cabbage are also cut off with a sharp knife and the stalk is left in the ground to produce another plant from the same root.
  • Most salad crops and carrots can still be sown, but be sure to water well if the weather is dry (some hope!)
  • Early potatoes are ready to be lifted this month when they have flowered and should be stored in paper or hessian sacks in a cool, dry place.
  • The first of the runner beans can usually be picked towards the end of the month; again pick frequently when small to prolong the season.
  • In the greenhouse our tomatoes now have five trusses set and we will take out the growing tip when we get to six, at which time we will commence feeding the plants with a liquid fertilizer twice a week.
  • Cucumbers also need picking when young as this will encourage more flowers to form.
  • We are growing courgettes this year which need a good mulch of manure or compost and again frequent cropping.
  • In between enjoying the fruits of your labours, continue watering and hoeing to keep the weeds under control and be continually vigilant for pests, particularly snails and slugs if the month is damp.


  • The strawberries are now ripening faster than we can eat them (well nearly). We will pot up enough runners this year to renew the plot with all new plants, which we will plant out in a different part of the garden this autumn. Plant rotation is good practice even in the fruit garden where possible!
  • applesThe gooseberry bushes have produced a good crop, most of which has already be frozen for us to use over winter, but with a few set aside for a pie later this week!
    The bushes themselves have been pruned back to three leaves on all the new side shoots and any old wood has been cut out from the centre of the bushes to provide good ventilation, which protects against mildew.
  • We are continuing to tie in the new canes on the blackberry and the loganberry plants, which will produce fruit next year. They are planted against a freestanding trellis to allow for very easy picking from both sides; when the old canes have fruited this year they will be cut down to ground level and composted.
  • Our blueberries are looking good but we must net these against the birds, which can strip the whole bush over the space of a few hours when the fruits ripen.
  • Our raspberries were good to us last year, particularly the autumn fruiting variety Autumn Bliss, which were cropping right into October. Our summer variety, Malling Admiral, will be fruiting for the first time this year from the beginning of July, and are looking like they will provide a bumper crop. Well, here`s hoping anyway! We have noticed some Yellow Rust on the new canes which we've sprayed with fungicide.


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Amazon book - Gardens of the National Trust. When the National Trust decided to take on the care of gardens, the aim was that these would be the very best of their kind in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Trust now has the finest collection of gardens ever assembled under one ownership..

Volunteering with the National Trust

Volunteers are active in all parts of the National Trust, from the new central office in Swindon to the summits of Snowdonia and Divis Mountain near Belfast.

View their latest opportunities, or find out more about the kind of roles and different places you can volunteer:

Still with the National Trust, some of the most visited National Trust properties are now holding regular farmers' and food markets.  Click here for details  and dates.



RHS gardens


Their four flagship gardens not only provide year-round interest and offer a wide range of courses, talks and demonstrations, they also demonstrate the best gardening practices, new techniques and exciting new plants to try in your garden.

Or go to their website for a diary of all other events at:-

Do you take advantage of the DEFRA website for information? I find it a valuable source of information, for up to date legislation, countryside matters and useful information such as plant pests and diseases, which saves me ploughing through all my gardening books, with the knowledge that their information is bang up to date...


Thompson & Morgan LogoThompson & Morgan 


Visit where full information is available on their product varieties and orders can be taken on-line.  Have a look to see what is new, and special seasonal offers


Some places to visit... 



The Eden Project


The living theatre of plants and people
The Eden Project is a gateway into the world of plants and people. A meeting place for all to discover how we depend on plants and how we can help to manage and conserve them for our mutual survival.


Kew Gardens two locations:-

Tel: 020 8332 5655 (24 hr)
Fax: 020 8332 5197

Royal Botanic Gardens

Tel: 01444 894066 (24 hr)
Fax: 01444 894069

Royal Botanic Gardens
Wakehurst Place
Nr Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH17 6TN


The National Botanic Gardens of Scotland comprise:

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Scotland's Premier Garden

Benmore Botanic Garden, Argyll
Argyll's Magnificent Mountainside Garden

Dawyck Botanic Garden, Borders
Wonderful Woodland Garden

Logan Botanic Garden, Galloway
Scotland's Most Exotic Garden

The National Botanic Garden of WalesThe National Botanic Garden of Wales

The star attraction here is the 91 metre long domed glasshouse, that houses landscapes normally found in the Mediterranean. This would be a super place to visit on a chilly day...




Some websites of interest to gardeners:-


Carry on Gardening - The easier gardening web site from ThriveGardening is an important part of many people's lives. You don't have to give up gardening because of accident or illness, the onset of disability or the problems associated with growing older. The information on their website is designed to provide you with the information to Carry on Gardening.

Carry on Gardening was initiated by the horticultural charity Thrive and is funded by the National Lottery Charities Board.  It brings together information on easy ways of gardening gathered over 23 years by Thrive and research carried out since the early 1970s by Mary Marlborough Centre, Oxford, on tools and equipment for disabled and older people. 



Useful reading:-


"The Yellow Book" contains information of all Gardens of England and Wales open for charity, and can be bought priced £5 from National Gardens Scheme

National Trust Gardens Handbook is £6.99 and the new edition is out in May  Telephone 01394 389 950 or see their website

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