July in the Spanish Garden

By Clodagh and Dick Handscombe facing their 25th Spanish summer

It’s hot!!

As we write temperatures are well into the thirties on the coast and have already been over forty in some of the hottest spots inland. They will rise progressively during July so this calls for some special actions in the garden to ensure you continue to enjoy colour and fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Ten important actions for the month
– extracts from the monthly calendars in our books.

  • Increase watering as temperatures rise and do so in the evening.
  • Keep up the recent weeding as there are heavy crops this year as a result of late rains.
  • Keep the surface of bare soil loose to minimise capillary evaporation of moisture.
  • If flies appear try out a Flyaway Flycatcher – www.insectsaway.com .
  • Train and tie up new growth of climbers.
  • Deadhead to stimulate more flowers.
  • Cut and dry herbs.
  • Dampen the compost heap preferably with a dilute comfrey solution,
  • Dust plants liable to mildew such as courgettes, melons, tomatoes and grapes with sulphur dust.
  • Sow onions, leeks, broccoli, spinach and brassicas in seed boxes or pots to produce plantlets for planting out in the early autumn.
  • If you don’t believe that summer gardening is a problem read chapter 6.16 of our book Your Garden in Spain. Now entitled Be a plant detective it was originally published as a article titled ‘30 ways to kill summer plants’!

Above all have a great summer and some great meals from your home grown produce.

© Clodagh and Dick Handscombe July 2008