Greenfingers - July 2017

The garden is currently suffering from a plague of chafer beetles, which are attractive little shiny green and bronze insects, and provide a source of food for the young sparrows, but do cause damage to plants and fruit. And the lawn can be damaged when the larger birds and badgers root around for the grubs.

These beetles do damage some of the young apples, so I’ll wait for the plague to pass before thinning the apples, which is a task at which I am poor, and identifying the nibbled fruit will help. The pollination of the blossom on the apple trees was very successful this spring, though I did throw a sheet over one treechaferbeetle when a cold night was forecast.

The seed trays and over-wintering tuber pots have all been emptied, with tomatoes and peppers established in the greenhouse, beans, peas, strawberries and courgettes planted out, and dahlias, bedding seedlings and tender plants distributed around the garden. The citrus plants have also been put outside.

Some of the roses have aphid infestations, but we tend to leave these to the ladybird cavalry, which will eventually arrive.

We’ve spent a good deal of time weeding and tidying the garden, so now the tasks are to keep on top of them, deadhead the flowering plants, tie up the climbing plants as necessary, and feed and water everything in pots. So we should be pleased to see a fine sunny day on 2nd July, and lots of visitors to the Minchinhampton Open Gardens event.

There will be a total solar eclipse on 21st August, but unfortunately, not visible from Europe. I saw the Space Station a couple of times during May. Try the iss.astroviewer.net/observation.php website for dates and times when it can be seen.