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Homeschooling Garden Club – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Its August and the weather is being somewhat tricky with the temperatures swinging back and forth over 10 / 12 degrees within 12 hour periods, promising rain and not delivering, then being muggy and windy.

The Good in the garden at this time is most things are doing their thing and simply growing, so it nice only to have to pop out and pick the herbs, the apples, the plums, the salads, the spring onions and watching the tomatoes, cucumbers, courgette get bigger.

A number of my plants have black fly all over them which is not so great, but I have seen a large number of ladybirds. Ladybirds, love blackfly! So, we are seeing a lot of ladybirds. I love ladybirds: as this was one of the names of my classes when I worked in schools. They have a very interesting life cycle. Want to do learning this week? Why not borrow a book about ladybirds.

The bad, is the swings in the weather, getting very hot after rain can open up the conditions for blight and grey mould. The very high temperature, we had last weekend, has upset my pumpkin. Some of the larger pumpkins are not looking too great. My beans have decided they have had enough, given up and simple withered. I have only managed to get this amount of beans in total.

So, I am not looking forward to this weekend’s predicted 34 degrees. We have used up all the water in the water butts and so I am having to trek the water around by can from the outside tap, not close to anything that needs watering.

The ugly, is that some of the apple trees are dropping their apples early and we are having to scramble to pick them up and get them into the kitchen quickly. Normally, I would be suggesting that you leave some windfall fruit on the ground as a tasty treat for wildlife. However, we have been having a problem with too many wasps. Apart of the wasp’s there is another garden visitor interested in our fallen apples and we can see the evidence in the teeth marks. We have spotted this visitor using the hedgehog holes we have put in the fence. We have given the whole garden a good look over, the rat has not yet moved in. We will be dealing with him directly.

We can’t close the hedgehog holes as this week we have also found evidence of them as well – hedgehog poo on the patio. Technically, that is a good sign – unless you pop out bear footed and step into it!

Things To Do This Month in Your Garden.

  • Keep the birdbaths topped up with fresh water. You might need to clean it between refills.

  • We have been learning how to deadhead, so you can continue to do this independently at home.

  • Tidy up the perennials and put the material on the compost bin. But don't put the bind weed in the compost - that is the one we call ganny-pop-out-of-bed.

  • It is time to collect the flower heads of the lavender to make lavender bags for the draws and cupboards.

  • We are still pegging down the runners from the strawberries. You will need to the same with yours at home. Not sure what to do - pop over for a quick lesson.

  • If your runner beans are still healthy pinch out the top of the shoot. In my case, I will be digging them out and thinking about a replacement crop.

  • If you like the idea of some spring flowers look for some gaps and plant some spring flowering bulbs in the space.

  • If anyone would like to help transplanting the leeks your help will be welcome.

Pocket Money Jobs this Month

  • Offer to sweep your patio areas regularly and treat any small weeds as they germinate.

  • Hoe weeds from gravel areas and treat with a residual weed killer to prevent more weed seeds from germinating.

  • Clean out your water butts if they are empty, removing sludge and algae.

  • Offer to help with trimming hedges that are becoming untidy.

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