We are just over a week into July and it is time to sum up the past month on the land. So much has happened in the garden. At the start of June plants were still catching up after the very late cold start to the season, but at the end of the month, they were starting to show signs of drought after weeks with next to no rain.
A hose pipe ban is now in place for all of Ireland, and we apply water sparingly with a watering can, where it is most needed. We are very pleased with our vegetable garden, where heavy mulches of cardboard, sheep’s wool and a topping of woodchips have proven invaluable for keeping down weeds and retaining moisture. Very few slugs have made their ways across the inhospitable surface as well. We made small holes through the layers of mulch to create planting spaces for the young seedling at the end of May and now we have beautiful cabbages, mange tout and courgettes all ready to harvest.
The biggest success so far is probably the pumpkins and courgette plants grown on a mound of last years’ composted weeds, complete with the above described topping. We apply water only in the small planting holes around each plant and they have grown massive with no other intervention.
The herb garden is doing well in this kind of weather as the herbs that can cope better with drought are placed near the top of the herb spiral we created last year, the ones that like a bit more moisture grow further down where we applied a thick layer of wood chip mulch earlier in the spring.
It is important to apply measures to your growing spaces that make them able to cope with whatever the unpredictable weather of today can throw at them. Climate change is here to stay and we can only adapt or practices and work with nature as much as possible. By doing that we can reverse some of the damage done to the planet and each heal our own small spaces, thus creating planet “Plasters”, or “Band-Aids” if you live in America.
For the first time in weeks we had a light shower of rain this morning, giving us a rare photo opportunity of catching a few glistening drops on the surfaces of our plants.
Our main circle looks a bit weird this month, as we set the lawn mower to too low earlier in the month and it created an ugly yellow band all across it. All around it though, flowers are budding up and we are praying for even a little rain, which will make them all burst into colourful blooms, for the benefit of ourselves and all the wild pollinators.
We were delighted to find many of the native Irish black honey bee in our garden this past month on the roses, hawthorn and numerous other plants. As long as we have bees, there is still hope for humanity!