The Next Six Months
After a successful September meeting, the programme of meetings for 2020/21 will continue, unless restrictions rules change. Our next meeting is on October 29th, please contact Suzanne or June to book your place.
Natural Pests Defence:
If your plants are plagued by caterpillars, aphids and whitefly, try growing horseradish. Add a 50mm long piece of horseradish root to 2 pints of water, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a handful of scented pelargonium leaves. Boil for 30 minutes, allow to cool, strain and spray your plants with the liquid.
If slugs are a problem, then grow artemisia or wormwood, harvest 200g of leaves and stems, add to 1 pint of water and simmer for 30 minutes, cool and strain. Add a teaspoon of liquid soap and spray the soil or containers.
Patricia Angove, (a new member who joined this year) has been making over her new garden, using plants from our spring and summer sale.
The Big Soup Share is a chance to celebrate with people in your community (following social distancing guidelines). All you need to do is harvest your crops or ask for veggie donations, whizz them up into a delicious soup and share it with others.
See rhs.org.uk for more information.
Websites recommended by members
www.yougarden.com for unusual plants as well as regular ones.
www.secretgardeningclub.co.uk for remaindering plants at reasonable prices, they also support Food Cycle charity.
Saving seeds for next year:
Now is the time to save seeds from your vegetables and flowers for next year’s plants. Before you store your seeds they need to be dried to reduce the moisture content to about 5%. Heat equally can destroy seeds and they should not be exposed to temperatures above 35C. Seeds can be dried naturally, preferably out of full sun- light, spread out on kitchen paper for a few days. Once they are dry they need to be stored in a cool, dry place. If you want to store them longer than this winter, they should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Before you sow them next year the seeds need to slowly come up to room temperature and allow to rest for a few days to reabsorb moisture so as not shock the seeds as they are sown.
September Meeting — Peter Burks of Fermoys Garden Centre
Peter introduced his talk by describing how Fermoys turned their business into a delivery garden centre during lock down. Going from 2 vans delivering 3 days a week to 6 vans delivering 7 days a week, and how the staff took on new roles, such as their chef becoming a van driver. This way they had been able to support British nurseries and small growers to maintain the supply chain, and how they were adapting now to living with the new rules in welcoming customers back
His talk was on Winter interest in the garden:
Tubs and hanging baskets give the most colour with winter
bedding and bulbs. The winter pansy and viola can flower for 12
months, and should always be bought in flower. These can be
under planted in the tubs with layers of bulbs. Bulbs such as tall tulips making the bottom layer, then dwarf tulips and dwarf daffodils with small bulbs such as crocus and iris at the top. In the next few months up to Christmas cyclamen are colourful and then in January they can be exchanged in the tubs with primulas.
Shrubs for winter:
Daphne — variety Eternal Fragrance, highly scented is ideal by the front door in a pot and best in ericaceous compost
Sarcococca – evergreen, scented and in flower for Christmas, happy in shade, and can self seed
Mahonia — Sweet Winter and Soft Caress are both varieties without prickles, evergreen and flowering in winter, grows well in shade
Camellias — all very hardy and will grow in any position apart from very hot and dry or waterlogged
Shrub Honeysuckle — it is a large shrub and has highly scented white clusters of flowers
Helleborus — every garden should have at least 20! The Orientalis variety has now been bred to have a wide range of colours from almost black through purples, pinks to white. Plant them amongst the herbaceous plants and they get hidden away in summer.
Heucheras — will hold their colour throughout the winter, when they get leggy clip in late summer
Skimmia — the male will hold colour flower buds all winter and then flower in spring; it is the female that has the
Hypericum — ’Miracle’ series, flowers in summer then set a range of coloured berries which stay all winter
Clematis — winter flowering, mix with summer flowering climbers, but remember to feed regularly
Dogwoods — grow for stem colour in winter, need pruning to the ground at least every other year to maintain colour, will grow anywhere even in wet places
Winter Jasmine — flowers on new wood so prune every spring by one third, good on a north facing wall
Shrubs in pots, after 2 years take out and replace some of the compost and then top dress every spring to refresh.
You prune shrubs straight after flowering or in March.
Best fertilizer for shrubs is Vitex Q4 apply March and June.
For enquires contact: Chair, June Cassidy on 439076 or Secretary: Suzanne Jones on 889184