'Tis the season of plenty; time to get creative in the kitchen to make use of all the bounty
Get your hat, sunglasses and sunblock ready. We are now in the hottest months of summer. With adequate water, growth in the garden can be rapid and verdant. Your garden may even be choc-a-bloc with growing plants. Be careful you don’t plant too much of one vegetable or else you will be looking for new homes for them very soon.
Ripe for the picking
Asparagus continues along with broad beans, the first of the French beans, beetroot, broccoli and cauliflowers. For something different try some globe artichokes - anything soaked in garlic butter is yum!
Your beans, corn and tomatoes should be streaking ahead. It’s a good idea to make small but constant plantings of these three. I plant a new couple of rows every 2-3 weeks so that we have a constant supply over the summer months. Remember to pick out the lateral on your tomatoes. These are the new side shoots that grow between the main stem and the branch in the v shaped gap. If you pinch off any longer ones you can pop them in some potting mix in a container and they will grow a new baby tomato plant. Something for nothing- I love it! Your asparagus bed may be finished now. Let the fern-like branches develop, weed the area well and then mulch with seaweed or compost or poultry manure. You can sow beetroot seeds directly where you want to grow. This is actually best with all root vegetables as they don’t like to be transplanted. Keep the area moist until they germinate. Keep up the irrigation and apply mulch to conserve water loss. I use soak hoses placed under the mulch.
Spray your apple trees for codling moth and pear, quine and plum trees will need to be sprayed to protect them from pear slug. Pyrthrum is an organic spray option. If you have lots of baby fruit developing on your trees it is a good idea to thin them. You can do this by hand by twisting off the smaller or damaged fruit, leaving the largest.