This month in your garden

Rescue pot plants and planters that have over-grown or need refreshing with all the lovely fresh plants in the garden centres now.  Pelargoniums from South Africa are such good plants to grow here.  They can suffer from mealy bugs if they become congested, so remove some of the thick growth in the centre of the plant to let in some air. This will also discourage botrytis, which is a furry mould that also likes damp humid places to hide in. Continue feeding them once a week with a soluble feed – ‘One’ fertiliser is good for potted plants – a capful in 10 litres of water will feed quite a few pots.

Don’t rush to trim off the burned tops of shrubs as the sun is still hot.  If you wait a little while longer, then with cooler temperatures and some watering, new shoots will appear on the stems and around the root area. Take off heavy seed pods of wisteria. Even if they germinate, they will not have flowers for around 7 years. Collect any seeds of herbaceous plants, and put them in paper envelopes or bags and name them.  Seeds benefit from winter cold and you can create this by putting them in a fridge for a week or so before sowing.  Trim back growths on osteospermums or they will grow to enormous heights.

Keep picking figs this month as the main crops ripen. There is nothing quite like a sun-kissed fig for breakfast or dessert.  You may like Prickly Pear fruit, a great delicacy here. Agia Anna village nearby had a festival dedicated to them recently. Take care if you pick or prepare them yourself as they are full of horrid little hairs that are the very devil to extricate from your skin.  You will notice that most Cypriot people wear heavy gloves and collect the fruits in a tin can attached to a long pole. I understand the answer to preparing them without damage to oneself, is to work at them under water.

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