We are now truly in the throws of a tremendously hot, hot summer. July can brings many treasures in the form of your harvest and beautiful flowers, but it can be a tricky time for a number of plants. What I have found is that unless you water substantially the water only reaches the top centimetre of soil and does not penetrate to the roots of the plants. Water should ideally take place in the early evening when the scorching heat of the sun has reduced. Plants in pots are especially vulnerable because the pot heats up and if you water during the heat of the day the roots are likely to cook somewhat. So leave it until around about 4.30-5.00 pm to start. It does take a long time to do this and it can be such a chore to do each day, but in these temperatures it is vital, you will see plants that are largely watery in nature such as cucumber and courgettes/marrows - start to wilt in the heat, if any plants look as though they are about to expire then do water them quickly and then water again in the evening.
Regrettably, the weeds still keep pace with the plants and it takes a lot of work to keep them in check - bindweed is a particular problem as the roots are very robust and can go very deep indeed. When pulling these you need to ensure that all the root is removed, even leaving a small amount will serve to generate a new plant. I dont have the names of many of the common weeds that grow here that I am not familiar with. You see its one thing calling plants by their common name but there is a massive drawback to doing this, every country is likely to call it something completely different. Therefore, I used the latin names more often than not. I have noticed on a few of the seed packets I have bought here that the latin names are sometimes quoted. During the winter period I will do a section on how to understand the latin classifications, its a lot lot simpler than you would imagine. Honestly!!
THE VEG PLOT
By now you should be enjoying pretty fully all the fruits of your hard labours from your plantings during March onwards. Important to keep up with the weeding as they are taking the precious water from the plants you want to receive it. By now you should have picked your peas and cleared the plot you can now plant another catch crop, its up to you what you wish to plant, you can of course plant most things. I am still deciding what to do with my spare plot, maybe some winter cabbage.
It seems we here we have a lovely underground pest called the mole cricket, a handsome (not) looking beastie - thankfully he is only about 2 inches max in length and not bigger, looks like something from another planet to me, but hey beauty is in the eye of the beholder, below is a picture of this delight. No doubts you keen gardeners have met this chap already.
Meet Mr. Mole Cricket!!!
Extract from Wikipedia regarding this lovely creature below:-
Mole crickets vary in size and appearance, but most of them are of moderate size for an insect, typically 3-5 cm long. They are muscular, as one may verify by holding one in the hand; they are inoffensive, but the confined insect will try to dig its way out with considerable force. The abdomen is rather soft, but the head, forelimbs, and prothorax are heavily sclerotised. The hind legs are shaped somewhat like the legs of a real cricket, but are more adapted for shoving while digging, rather than leaping, which they do rarely and poorly.