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Growing pains: Brain food...in spades

PUBLISHED: 17:19 16 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 February 2013

Jayne digs in for summer

July:




I always suspected it, now I know its true gardening makes you brainy. Its all to do with soil. Scientists in the US have discovered that a common bug which lives in soil improves the learning ability of mice. And, apparently, what works for mice could also work for humans, especially children.
The bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, stimulates the growth of neurons and alters brain chemistry. It can also improve both mood and memory.
The scientists say people who spend time outdoors, close to the soli are likely to ingest or breathe in the bacteria. Just one more compelling reason to spend more time on the allotment.
That is, if you need an excuse at the moment.
Rain, sun, rain and hopefully more sun are sending young plants into overdrive.
This includes weeds, of course, so a good deal of my time is spent keeping them at bay no easy task when youve gone to enormous lengths to protect tender young crops from the ravages of various pests airborne and the furry kind with tunnels and nets.
The sandy loam on which I grow drains well, but dries out quickly once we have a prolonged spell of sunny weather, so regular, deep watering is also a top priority for me.
Ive treated the plot to a second generous feed of blood and bone, which seems to have helped establish stronger young plants this year.
I now have about 90% of the plot sown and planted with runner beans, peas, courgettes, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, beetroot, kale, Savoy and red cabbage, spinach, radish, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Most of it Ive raised myself, there are a couple of gifts from fellow growers and a couple of rows of plants bought from a nursery.
So far the blight which devastated my potatoes last year has not returned and Im looking forward to lifting some lovely little Charlottes later this month.

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