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allotment cartoon Tasks in the garden the wrigglers worms

Growing Basil? Thought about making pesto?

July is a good month to cut and collect herbs. The worms have spent some time thinking about some of the herbs they’re growing in the garden, this week. Basil, for example … cutting the leaves and thinking about making pesto.

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Cut and collect herbs, like Basil, to wash and dry,  store in the freezer or make pesto with this month …  Two worms are looking at a Basil plant, one worm says, “ Hey, what’s Pesto? …”  The other worm says, “Something magicians say”

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The wrigglers are amateur gardeners, for advice from the experts on growing herbs, try Jekka’s Herbs and The RHS – they know what they’re talking about!

BBC goodfood pesto 15 minute recipe

Jekka’s tips on starting a culinary herb garden

planning, planting, maintaining and harvesting. Herbs can be picked from very early in their growing season. This encourages the plant to produce vigorous new growth. Most herbs reach their peak of flavour just before they flower. Snip off stems early in the day before the sun is fully up, or, even better, on a cloudy day.

Jekka’s Basil advice

Clusters of white flowers. Large, bright green, textured, crinkled oval leaves. Culinary; good with pasta, sauces and for making pesto and basil oil.

Growing herbs from the RHS

A continuous medley of aromatic, fresh herbs are easy to grow and harvest, adding vibrant flavours and texture to any meal.

Good for pollinators too!

The Wrigglers have joined the #putpollinators first Campaign

Wild flower meadows flower for longer due to the diverse range of plants in them. That’s more flowers for you, and more food for the bees and insects. Plant one and join the Gardener’s World Put Pollinators First campaign – raising awareness of the decline of our pollinators @GWmagazine

Click to see our ‘Put Pollinators First’ page

Gardener’s world launched its #putpollinatorsfirst campaign, as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. See what you can do to play your part:

Join in the Gardener’s World team and pledge here

With a panel of pollinator experts, committed to helping bees and other pollinating insects to thrive, Dr Trevor Dines says, ” Since the 1930’s, over 97 percent of our wildflower meadows have been destroyed. That’s 7.5 million acres, gone. Now you can understand why our pollinators are in such trouble.”

There are 3 ideas:

Sow some pollinator meadow seeds

Create habitats for butterflies, moths and caterpillars

Make a cornfield nectar bar

By making a meadow, even on a small scale, we can provide a banquet for pollinators that’ll help them to thrive.

Here are some seed suppliers and links:

Dobies

Thomson and Morgan – how to sow wildflower seeds

RHS – How to grow a mini wild flower meadow

More from the worms

Year-round garden pruning guide

Great advice and full of quick and simple tips too, for example … don’t cut into tender plants or evergreens right now as their top growth provides insulation from penetrating cold.

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