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    Castor-oil plant (Ricinus-communis) © Jennifer Hope-Morley
  • Simple Item 10
    Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) © Jennifer Hope-Morley
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    Lions ear (Leonotis leonurus) © Jennifer Hope-Morley
  • Simple Item 11
    Berkheya daisy (Berkheya purpurea) © Jennifer Hope-Morley
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  • In the Garden this month
  • In Nature this month
There will be plenty of vegetables to harvest such as Aubergine, Beetroot, Courgettes, Tomatoes and Sweetcorn. A question often asked is when to harvest Sweetcorn.To test for ripeness: wait until the tassels (silks) turn dark brown, then peel back outer leaves to reveal the kernals. Pierce one with a fingernail and if the liquid produced is milky the cob is ready to harvest.
Fruit such as Plums, Grapes, Autumn raspberries and Figs will be ripening. It is important to pick these fruit as soon as they are mature especially Figs that are ripe when they are soft to touch and droop from the branch. Overripe damaged fruit will attract wasps. A glut of Figs can be dried and stored for later use.
Lawns will have suffered during the drought leaving them brown but, once rain arrives and with the benefit of night dews, they usually recover. Aerate the ground by spiking to help drainage and allow any precipitation to get to the roots. See how the lawn recovers before overseeding.
The drought and high temperatures have caused many trees to go into survival mode. To protect themselves they close their stomata (pores in plant leaves) to limit the evaporation of water from their leaves, which slows or stops photosynthesis causing premature leaf shedding, wilted leaves, scorched leaves or discolouration and some trees may even shed whole branches in an effort to survive.
Common ragwort
Senecio jacobaea, commonly called Common ragwort, has a long flowering season and will still be in bloom this month. A native biennial weed with yellow daisy-like flowers, it is a controversial plant, often demonised as it can be harmful to livestock when ingested in high doses, however it is an important food source for a large number of insects, providing them with nectar and pollen.
As Summer moves into Autumn, hedgerows will be full of colour and different fruits including clusters of black Elderberries, red Hawthorn berries and the bluish Sloes from the Blackthorn.
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