BOATER’S BREAK

Canal Boat - - Contents - with Julie Clark

Gar­den­ing, the Big Sky and our clever acrostic cross­word

We all love boat­ing in the sum­mer, it can be heav­enly, per­fect for up­ping the pins and mov­ing on or just to take a short break. Con­tainer grown plants can take a bit of a knock dur­ing hot weather, steel boats can get very hot and up on the roof there is max­i­mum ex­po­sure to the el­e­ments be it wind, sun or rain. Should there be rain do not rely on that alone to wa­ter your plants. I hap­pily use river and canal wa­ter – as long as there is no ob­vi­ous pol­lu­tion, how­ever I would never use it on any­thing ed­i­ble. Should it be very sunny try to avoid get­ting wa­ter on the leaves be­cause this will cause burn­ing.

Flow­er­ing bed­ding plants should be at their most ex­u­ber­ant now how­ever they do still need a bit off at­ten­tion. Re­move faded flow­ers to en­cour­age new ones to de­velop and dead leaves to pre­vent grey mould from set­ting in at the base of the plants where mois­ture will be trapped and there­fore rot the stems.

If you are grow­ing toma­toes con­sis­tent wa­ter­ing is es­sen­tial be­cause should it be er­ratic with the soil dry­ing out you will get fruits that split open as they are ripen­ing – es­pe­cially in the smaller fruit­ing va­ri­eties. It is es­sen­tial to keep wa­ter off tomato leaves be­cause this will en­cour­age tomato blight. Along with your toms you can still plant a few of the faster grow­ing herbs to en­joy with them such as Basil, try some of the beau­ti­ful al­ter­na­tive va­ri­eties such as Pur­ple Ruf­fles, Cin­na­mon or Lime Basil. Basil can be eaten as tiny sprouts or left to de­velop into more ma­ture plants. Co­rian­der is al­ways top of my list and again is quick to grow how­ever pars­ley can be a bit fickle. It is rec­om­mended that the seeds are soaked in warm wa­ter overnight to help speed the ger­mi­na­tion which still can eas­ily take up to three weeks – on these grounds I al­ways buy mine ready grown from the su­per­mar­ket!

In look­ing for a way to se­cure a flower con­tainer to my boat dur­ing a blus­tery pe­riod I dis­cov­ered the magic of rub­ber coated neodymium mag­nets. If your pot is of thin plas­tic a mag­net can be dropped into the bot­tom of the pot or they can be glued to the base of the con­tainer and this will serve two ex­cel­lent pur­poses; to keep the con­tainer off the paint­work and mag­ne­tise it to the boat.

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