Greenfingers - September 2020

Harvest time, so fruit and vegetables can be picked and eaten or stored. Most of our tomatoes are roasted and blended with a little basil before being placed into containers in the freezer for future use. Chilli peppers also keep well when frozen whole.

It’s interesting that the first sowing of salad crops always tends to produce the best quality. Subsequent sowings during the summer seem to lack the vigour of that first crop.

Following on from the note about bumblebees taking the easy route to the nectar in some flowers, I noticed that virtually all the flowers on a salvia ‘hot lips’ have a small hole in the side, and always on the same side. I think the garden bumblebee was probably responsible, though it could have been a buff-tail. In checking the identification on the BB conservation trust website, it notes about caste that: ‘males also generally have longer, more straggly hair, so if your bee has hairy legs, a moustache, and looks slightly unkempt it’s probably a male.’ Perhaps they don’t have access to a comb.

The Gardening Club Annual Show has been cancelled this year, but details of the Minchinhampton Alternative Gardening Show are on the Minchinhampton Life website, so thanks to Minch Life.

I hope you took the opportunity to view the comet Neowise that passed by in July. If not, it is a long wait for its return, in the year 8,786, but there are plenty of photos on-line. There are several planetary conjunctions during September, starting with a lunar occultation of Mars on 6th, though not visible from the UK, an early morning close approach of the 26 day old moon and Venus on 14th, and a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and the moon on 25th.

Pete Smith