Welcome... July 2012
By: Steve Ott
It’s hard to believe that we are heading for midsummer already – especially looking at my plot which, as I write, still has largish areas of bare soil where there should be rows of verdant green.
I hate to conform to the typical stereotype of a UK gardener by constantly mentioning the weather, but… in the East Midlands – as in most places in the UK – the weather really has genuinely been something to talk about in the past few months.
Drought followed by deluge meant that my spring sowings were made late and while they germinated okay, seemed to decide that the end of the world was nigh and went straight back down again. Thank goodness for my cell tray raised plants in the greenhouse, as even old dependables such as beetroot and turnips turned up their toes in the face of the watery onslaught. I was forced to re-sow in trays and am only now filling the space with these molly coddled replacements.
But there, you see I’ve done what every keen gardener across the UK will be doing and has done since time immemorial – simply adapted to the conditions that the great British weather throws at us. It’s one reason why our hobby is so challenging and fun… well some of you might agree, perhaps!
Having said all this it may seem strange to be talking about second sowings right now – that is a second wave of crops to take over from the spring-sown harvest – but that is a theme of several of our features this month and I make no apologies.
One of the things most of us are guilty of – myself included – is forgetting to fill the gaps left by previously harvested crops to keep the produce coming. With that in mind we have lots of advice for you on our jobs pages starting on page eight as well as in Joe Maiden’s feature on spring cabbages, on page 42. For those with a greenhouse or polytunnel, Sue Stickland also has advice for sowing second crops under cover starting on page 13.
Yet more growing advice can be found on page 16 with Andrew Tokely’s back to basics guide on growing courgettes, and for something a little more unusual turn to page 64 for Lonnie Morris’ feature on soya. You may be surprised at just how easy to growand how versatile this little bean is in the kitchen.
Finally, apart from two free packets of seeds on the front cover I’m also pleased to be able to offer readers the chance to claim a free blueberry plant (just pay postage) and the chance to win our biggest haul of giveaways ever worth more than £4100.
Be sure to enter by filling in the coupon on page 101. Who knows – if you are one
of our lucky winners it may just help to chase away the rainy day blues.
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Current Issue: July 2013
FREE: 2 PACKETS OF SEEDS WORTH £2.35!
♦ Perfect peas every time ♦ Grow delicious cherries
♦ Crop growing fun at the Chelsea Flower Show
♦ Free summer seed collection worth £10
♦ Win garden goodies worth £2592
♦ Discover how James Martin grows his own ingredients
♦ Sow now for late summer harvests
♦ Ideas for your veg plot ♦ How to build a raised bed
• Next issue on sale: July 4, 2013