July has been a busy month for us at Grow West and a rather warm one too with lots of sunshine. The summer weather has meant that lots of our flowers and veg have really started to come on so we’ve been busy harvesting and planting. With the sunshine in full force, we’ve also been doing lots of watering. We’ve had to be careful with our watering on the days where the sun has been strong as water droplets on leaves can intensify the power of the sun causing leaf burn. Instead of watering during the heat of the day, we’ve been watering in the early morning and evening to ensure all of our plants stay healthy and hydrated. If you’ve got a garden at home, we’d recommend you do the same to ensure your plants don’t get any sunburn!
In the veggie garden…
The vegetable patch has been plentiful this month, which you will have most likely seen with your veg box orders!
We’ve been harvesting our new potatoes which are looking wonderful and their flavour has been sensational! You really can’t beat boiled new potatoes with a bit of butter, can you? DELICIOUS! Whilst harvesting them, we’ve made sure to watch out for signs of blight on the tops of the potatoes, removing them to protect the rest of the crop. Luckily this year, we haven’t had many of our potatoes suffering from blight which has meant we’ve had a brilliant crop!
Our courgettes have been stunning and we’ve had a real glut of them! You all will have had plenty in your boxes this last month. They are such a versatile vegetable – perfect for summer salads, they can be roasted, made into soups (or gazpachos during heatwaves), fritters, cakes and even ‘courgetti’. By the sounds of it, lots of people have had success with their courgettes this year so if you’ve been growing them at home, we hope you have had just as much as an abundance of them as we have!
We’ve also been continuing to plant our quick turnaround produce fortnightly to ensure we’ve had a continued crop to add into our boxes. This has included produce like radishes and lettuce which are the perfect summer salad ingredients – particularly during that mini heatwave we had this month!
In terms of planting out, we’ve been able to plant the leeks outside having set them off earlier in the year in pots in the greenhouse. They are looking strong and healthy so we should be harvesting them sometime in September.
In the greenhouse…
Our tomatoes have been our main focus this month in the greenhouse! They have just started to turn red which is great. We’ve sneaked one or two off their vines to give them a taste test and oh my goodness, you are in for a treat when they get to your boxes. They are little wonderful little flavour bombs!
If you grow tomatoes at home, you’ll understand the difficulty of greenfly at this time of year. They are out in full force, so we’ve been checking on the tomato leaves every day and brushing off any of the little pests we see! If you are in the same boat, make sure you are doing the same as we’ve found it has stopped any infestations this year. Oh and don’t forget to check the backs of the leaves – they love hiding there!
In the flower garden…
The flowers at Grow West this month have been bloomin’ beautiful! We’ve been keeping on top of our dead-heading which has encouraged fresh growth. If you’ve got flowering plants in your garden, it’s definitely worth doing as it means you’ll get a longer summer in bloom than you would usually. And who doesn’t love a few more weeks of colour in the garden?
We haven’t got too many cut flowers in our gardens, but we have got a few sweet pea plants which we’ve cutting as they flower this month. The more you cut flowers like sweet peas, the more they flower so it is a great excuse for some fresh flowers in the house. We’ve had them in little vases in our farm shop and so many of you have commented on how lovely they smell!
July is also a great month for seeding Violas which we have been busy doing. Seeding them now will mean they’ll be flowering in the late autumn, making them perfect for things like hanging baskets. These will be available to add to your veg boxes in a few months so keep your eyes peeled!
Until next month, happy gardening!