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

Its August, and the weather is being somewhat tricky with the temperatures swinging back and forth over 12 within 12 hour periods. Promising rain and not delivering and 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 and some of the larger pumpkins are not looking too great. My beans have decided they have had enough, given up and simple withered. So, I am not looking forward to this weekend’s predicted 34. We have used up all the water in the water butts and so I am having to trek the watering can around. Some of you have different ideas about water in the garden. There are a lot of paddling pool parties happening - but I am not being invited!

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 in to 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 but we can’t close the hedgehog holes as this week we have also found evidence of them too – 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.

  • Deadhead summer flowering perennials and annuals as they finish flowering so they give you more flowers.

  • Continue to cut down stems on perennials as they finish flowering, add these to your compost heap

  • Trim Lavender bushes after flowering to remove the dead flower spikes

  • Take tip cuttings of woody herbs such as Rosemary and Sage to replace any old plants

  • Pinch out the tips of Runner Beans once they have reached the top of their poles if yours have survived the heat unlike mine.

Start planning ahead by looking at where the gaps are and you can choose some spring flowering bulbs that can be planted over the next couple of months.

Planting

  • Transplant leeks to their final positions once they are the thickness of a pencil

  • Sow seeds of perennials that need a frost to germinate and leave them outside in a cold frame

Pocket Money Jobs this month

  • 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

  • Trim hedges that are becoming untidy

Wildlife and Pests

  • Keep bird baths topped up with fresh water

  • Leave seed heads on some of your plants as extra food for birds and small mammals



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