News, Tips and Offers for Growers & Gardeners

Allotment Garden Newsletter

From John Harrison

Allotment Garden Newsletter July 2022


I’m happy to start on a positive note this month. I’ve finished the treatment and the B12 has increased my energy levels so I’m feeling much more myself now. And I’m coping with things that a month ago would have been a big problem. Amazing what a vitamin can do.

Once again we’re past the summer solstice and as the weather warms, the nights will start to draw in. Hardly seems possible does it? Yet the plants know. That's why Chinese cabbage like Pak Choi and salad rocket are ideal for sowing now and the garlic and onions are bulbing up. Preparing for the winter they know is coming.

We’ve a busy few months ahead so make the most of your plot time – but still take a while to just sit and enjoy your plot. Did you know the word paradise comes from the Persian for garden?


Well we haven’t any snakes in our Garden of Eden paradise but we do have a plague of snails. The very mild winter we enjoyed meant many of them survived to bother us this season.

Warm wet weather is perfect for them and as dark falls, they appear in droves. When I went out to check the hens were in bed the other night, I picked 26 snails off the house wall!

Chickens aren’t that keen on snails but ducks tend to love them. You won’t catch them all – there’s just too many but fortunately they can be controlled with the ferrous phosphate slug pellets.

I’ve had people say they don’t work and that they melt away in the rain. The truth is they last better than the old pellets in my experience. The reason they disappear is they get eaten by the molluscs which then leave the area so you don’t actually find lots of bodies.

If the slugs or snails are eaten by wildlife, they’re not poisonous. You can actually buy the active ingredient as a supplement for human consumption. (but please DON'T eat the pellets!)

Fresh Potatoes for Christmas

Have you noticed how the seed merchants keep shifting things forward? I noticed they started pushing second crop potatoes to grow for Christmas in June. The thing is they want you to buy from them so they try to beat the competition to the punch.

It's a bit like the shops who start promoting Christmas earlier and earlier and stocking the shelves with Easter eggs before January is out! Crackers!

Anyway, if you're thinking of putting some second crop potatoes in, there's an article on the site that might help:

Second Crop Potatoes

What do you think?

Predicting the future is never easy, just ask the Met Office! As you’ll most likely know, I’m concerned about our food security. Am I right to worry? I don’t know but the latest signs aren’t good. I’ve put my thoughts down here in my blog – you can tell me if you think I’m being overly worried or not in the comments at the end of the post.

See Coming Food Crisis?

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4-in-1 Modular Metal Raised Bed

The 4-in-1 Modular Metal Raised Bed is a versatile planting solution and a great way to grow your own, the steel raised bed can be arranged in a standard, square, rectangle or narrow shape to suit your garden or plot.

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4-in-1 Modular Metal Raised Bed

Instagram Giveaway!

Don't forget our Summer Giveaway over on Instagram - ending 08th July 2022

I've popped all the details over on the website for those who want to join in.

July Exclusive Voucher Codes, Competitions & Offers

Greenhouse Pests

You really need to keep on top of pests like white fly and red mite. They breed so fast, especially in a greenhouse, that a small problem can become a big problem in just a week. As soon as you spot them, deal with them. For white fly, sticky yellow cards are fairly effective and marigolds are said to help keep them away from your crops in the first place.

The second line of defence is to spray with a contact smothering killer. Unlike poison sprays, you can eat the crops safely but you need to be quite thorough when spraying.

I have a method that makes sure I get as many as possible. First spray over the plant to cover the topside of the leaves and any in flight, then under the leaves and finally the compost in which they're planted. I've used Bug Clear and Agralan to good effect in the past but on the advice of Medwyn Williams who is the expert's expert of vegetable growing, changed to SB Invigorator.

This not only kills white fly and spider mite but also controls powdery mildew whilst being a foliar feed to help the plant resist attack and repair damage.

Foliar Feeding

Foliar feeding is where you supply nutrients to the plant via the leaves. It's a good way to deliver a boost to an ailing plant. I use it for seaweed stimulant and for spraying epsom salts if tomatoes show magnesium deficiency problems later in the season.

Leaves have pores called stomata through which they breath and get rid of excess water vapour. Most are on the underside of the leaves and they close up to save water in the afternoon heat. So I spray foliar feeds to the underside of leaves as well as the top in the cool of the morning for best take-up.

Growing Guides

Don't forget there's a lot of help on the site with growing guides on most vegetables including 20 articles on tomatoes alone!

The Grass is Growing!

The conditions are perfect for grass, it's warm and there's plenty of water so it's growing away. All well and good but cutting it when wet isn't the best idea. The mower clogs and rips grass out of the lawn.

When it does dry enough to mow, do it in two stages. First with as high a cut as possible and then give it a day to dry out more before a second, lower cut. That should avoid bald and yellow patches.

One tip to making an overgrown lawn look respectable. Trim the edges so they're neat. It fools the eye!

Storing the Harvest - New Release

Coming next week!

Keep an eye on your inbox towards the end of next week.  I'll be sending out details of the new eBook as soon as it's released

I'll be including some great new release freebies and discounts, as well.

Fruit & Vegetable Growing Guide for July

For more hints and tips along with a full jobs guide, check the July Jobs pages

The next newsletter will be in a couple of weeks. Don't forget I'm always happy to hear back from you and do read every email although I don't have enough time to reply to everyone. Suggestions for the newsletter and website especially welcome.

If you need advice, why not ask in our forum where there are many experienced growers to help you.

Good Growing


Allotment Garden

Fron Dirion, Clogwyn Melyn,
LL54 6PT