FLAMING JUNE

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Dear Organic Gardening friends, fans and superstars,

Another tiny blogette to encourage you in the hot pursuit of wonderful organic gardening for beautiful flowers and nutrition packed organic  fruit and vegetables to lift your hearts, feed the hungry hordes and save both money and the planet…..

Summer approaches, and increased warmth and light will result in strong growth.  Strong growth needs added nutrients, so take a look at some of the many organic fertilisers available.  Liquid feeds are in many ways quickest and easiest and easy too for the plants to absorb.  These are generally available so that they can be dissolved in water (either from powders or liquid concentrates) and applied to the roots of plants via your watering can.  The organic seaweed feeds are excellent for a very wide range of both flowers and vegetables.

In terms of irrigation, the best time is in the early morning so that your plants can take up the benefit through the day.  Evening watering can bring out slugs and other pernicious hungry snails and fungii:  generally speaking if you are able to water your plants gently on a fairly regular basis, soaking the roots but not washing away the soil your plants should thrive. Try not to splash foliage as this can invite disease.  Note that container plants will need special attention both as to fertiliser and irrigation in hot weather.

As your plants grow they may need staking or tying-up to support the strong new growth.  Also ripening fruit or vegetables will need protection from birds, bugs, snails and slugs.   Try too to remove weeds as soon as possible as once they go to seed they will undermine your hard work for ages and ages  (some of course are edible… but that’s another story!).

One way to get great results for some vegetables is to grow them inside a greenhouse.  French beans for example are self-pollinating and can grow very well inside right up until November.  They are good quality, crop well and have excellent flavour.  Make sure you keep on top of watering and ventilation.

If you are able to let  a corner of your garden go wild, grow a bit of green manure such as mustard or phacelia and/ or grow some herbs such as thyme, rosemary, lavender and nepeta, you will help bees and beneficial insects which are essential in pollination. Trees such as Golden Rain (koelreuteria paniculata) and perennials such as echinacea, rudbeckia as well as asters, daisies and verbenas are also life savers for bees as well as glorious to look at and enjoy.

Your early potatoes should be ready for harvesting about now, so children of all ages can get set for ready, steady, CHIPS!!! straight out of the ground.  The experience of revealing and bagging up one’s own potatoes and cooking them that same day is one of life’s great satisfactions.  For me anyway.  And SO easy to do!!

Hope that your gardens are growing organically and abundantly and that they fill you with delight and delectable produce!

All good wishes —-

Go slow and easy…. and love the life you live!

Arabella May Biddle

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