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If the first of July be rainy weather

"If the first of July be rainy weather, It will rain, more or less, for four weeks together." - John Ray, English Proverbs

Well the first of July was not rainy, so does that mean that we will have 4 dry weeks together?

There’s increasingly more plants in flower now. Planting brightly coloured flowers attracts useful creatures, like bees which pollinate the veg and other plants. Ladybirds also love the colour. And they are useful as they feed on those nasty aphids on our plants. Did you know that ladybird larvae can eat 150 aphids a day?

Our pathway into the garden has started flowering now too. The footprints have sprouted, and there is a swirl of vibrant flowers by the seat. It’s really lovely.

The salad garden is growing more now, with our salad seeds becoming spring onions, beetroot, radish and salad leaves. The cucumber plant wasn’t doing much, but seems to have suddenly sprung up. And there are lots of baby cucumbers showing. It’s not something I’ve grown before as I was told it prefers a greenhouse, but the weather obviously suits it.

Yellow and green courgettes being picked in the veg garden. Some are a bit mis-shapen because of uneven watering, but they taste good whatever they look like. Our squash and pumpkins are having a growth spurt too. Because they grow so rapidly, some of the veg is being fed with a mixture of liquid feed, granules and a bit of chicken manure. They have taken most of the nutrients they need out of the soil and it needs replacing.

Some people plant sweetcorn, beans and squash together as a form of companion planting known as ‘plant supports.’ This probably works best in a more conventional garden as our tubs aren’t really big enough to do this. But it sounds a really good idea. Apparently the leaves of the squash/courgette/pumpkin keep the roots of the sweetcorn cool and shaded. They also act as a mulch, keeping weeds down and stopping soil from drying out. The beans use the tall stems of the sweetcorn to climb up. In return the beans provide the soil with nitrogen which helps the other plants grow.

We’ve heard that a judge from the Royal Horticultural Society will be visiting our garden at the end of July. They have a look round the garden and see what we have done and how we have done it. We already know that people who come to the garden like it, so let’s hope the RHS do too.

I’m off on my hols for a week or so and I’ve been told that volunteers are going to be really busy while I am away, watering and setting up some new features. So perhaps I won’t recognise the garden when I get back. Keep up to date with what’s happening by reading Claire’s blog, tweets and Facebook messages. I’m certainly going to…

The Blooming Old Gardener

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