Gardening thoughts – August 2013

Jeremy t shirtNow is the time to start reaping that which we have sown (ref. Sheepwash Chronicle Summer 2012!).

Despite the extremely dry weather, crops have produced. We are lifting acceptable roots of potatoes and picking the peas, which, although initially covered in flat pods, have managed to fill out. I don’t know how many pounds we’ve picked and frozen, but if you don’t get them quickly they will go tough and unpleasant. The next crop is the broad beans, shallots and garlic having already been lifted and spread out to dry before storing.

Enough of vegetables, except to say, watch out for blight in your potatoes and cabbage white butterflies on the greens – look out for the tell tale cluster of orange eggs on the underside of leaves and rub them off, but don’t delay – they hatch into voracious caterpillars in no time and can thin your crops! Keep watering the runner beans and mist their flowers to help pollination and bean set.

The flower garden should now be in full swing and dead heading of all flowering plants will help to keep them flowering, as will constant picking of sweet peas. Water as and where necessary, and certainly water pots and baskets of summer bedding every day and feed once a week.

What more can I say? ‘Tis the time to enjoy the garden before the work starts again for winter preparation for spring sowing. How the year goes by!

Jeremy Burden

August 2013