Your local independent, family run, Dartmouth garden centre, café and farm shop

July at Gardentime

The longest days of the year are  always a happy time for gardeners, when the flower borders are bursting with colour and the light stretches late into the evening. The veg patch is packed full by now, too, and generous with produce, but don’t sit back on your laurels just yet.

Sow fast-growing crops like carrots, beetroot, lettuces, early peas and dwarf French beans now and they’ll take over once the mid-summer harvest is done, so you keep picking for months longer. Gardentime is overflowing with lovely summer colour, lovely pots of  all shapes and sizes to pop your treasures in. The cafe garden, as always, is a tranquil oasis to sit and recharge.

Remove male flowers on greenhouse cucumbers

Get to know the difference between male cucumber flowers, which have a simple stalk behind the petals, and females with tiny baby cucumber fruits forming. If you leave male flowers in place they’ll pollinate the females – leading to bitter fruits. So once a week, go round your plants removing the male flowers as they appear. This doesn’t apply to outdoor ‘ridge’ cucumbers, which need flowers to pollinate to set fruit.


Plant tender salvias, pelargoniums and dahlias out in the open garden

Remove diseased leaves from roses and bin or burn them

Tie in climbers to supports using soft jute twine

Remove reverted (plain green) shoots from variegated shrubs

Plant Japanese maples in containers for a lovely autumn display

Carefully remove faded flowers and developing seed pods from rhododendrons

Plant tender salvias, pelargoniums and dahlias out in the open garden

Fruit & veg:

Keep fruit and vegetables watered in dry spells, especially leafy greens

Thin out carrot seedlings, leaving 5cm between plants

Earth up the soil around potatoes for a better crop

Sow annual herbs like chervil, coriander, rocket and parsley in small batches

Feed fruit, vegetables and ornamentals in grow bags and pots

Keep ripening strawberries free of soil splashes by tucking straw under the fruit


Shade plants from strong sunshine with shade paint or netting

Move cymbidium orchids outdoors in dappled shade

Remove old leaves from succulents such as aeoniums and Aloe vera

Regularly remove side shoots on cordon tomatoes

Provide aubergines and green peppers with supports before they get top-heavy

Around the garden:

Give tired lawns a liquid feed to green them up for summer

Water newly-planted perennials during dry periods

Edge lawns neatly using edging shears or strimmer

Regularly hoe annual weed seedlings when conditions are warm and dry Remove blanket weed from ponds by wrapping it round a cane

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