Greenfingers - July 2018

The recent lure of the pop-up pub helped to drag me into the church for an orchestral concert, where I enjoyed comfortable seating without the damp smell, the creaks, pops and bangs from the pews and pipes which would have previously accompanied the very fine solo violinist. May I add my congratulations to the 6P’s team for an excellent result.

In the garden, it’s time to remove excess apples, pears, plums, and peaches from the fruit trees, and although only the apples apply in my case, there’s room for improvement. The vines have been thinned though, and shoots re-moved, leaving a few leaves to feed the reduced quantity, but hopefully improved quality crop.

Salad crops, courgettes, squashes, beans, peas, tomatoes, peppers are growing in the ground or in pots in the greenhouse. A garlic ‘soup’ has been sprayed onto some plants with the aim of discouraging the slugs and snails, and whilst it’s not 100% effective, it may have helped. I sprayed half the leaves of a large verbascumFlower0718 to try to deter the mullein moth caterpillars, and this seems to have worked to some extent. The worry is that they may be grateful for the garnish.

Keep on top of the weeds during the month, and maintain regular watering of pot plants, especially pot grown tomatoes.

There are a few things to look out for in the night sky during July: on the 12th, Mercury will be at its greatest eastern elongation, at 26.4deg from the sun, and should be visible soon after sunset low in the west; with Venus rather higher in the sky, also in the west; Mars is at opposition, at its brightest and closest to Earth on 27th, but is probably best seen around the middle of the month, when the moon has less influence; Saturn and Jupiter are well placed, and also on the 27th, the rust coloured full moon will rise in the Earth’s shadow in a total lunar eclipse. This offers an interesting opportunity for the night photography class in the photo section of the Gardening Club Show in September. Schedules for the show are now available around the town.

Pete Smith