CONVENOR - Ken Turner
DAY - Monday, 3rd week of month
VENUE - See timetable of events below.
TIME - 10.00 - 12.00 unless otherwise stated
DUE TO CURRENT GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES THE GARDENING GROUP ARE UNABLE TO MEET AT THE MOMENT. HOWEVER, KEN HAS PROVIDED SOME TIPS FOR THE GARDEN. PLEASE SEE BELOW.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TO KEN PLEASE CLICK ON THE BLUEBIRD ON THE RIGHTHAND SIDEBAR
Covering many aspects of gardening with practical involvement. Garden visits will also be arranged.
GARDENING TIPS FROM KEN TURNER
Hello everyone and a Happy New Year!
Unfortunately life has not got any easier during the last month and it still looks as though it will be some long while before we can meet again.
We had an awful lot of rain at the end of last year which means that the soil is still saturated and it is advisable to keep off of it to stop losing the soil structure.
Fortunately it has become much colder and more seasonal in the last week which is much better for the woody plants especially top and soft fruits which need a period of cold to “go to sleep” and so produce ample good quality fruit later in the year.
There are however are a few thing you can be doing :–
Firstly if you going to be standing on bare soil try and put down a board to stand on to protect the soil structure.
If you have not already done so now is the time to finish winter pruning of Wisteria, shortening the shoots you halved in the summer back to two buds to encourage more flowering spurs.
Also, if you have not already done so, prune your established Blackcurrants – they fruit best on younger wood so remove up to a third of the older branches at the base.
Now is also the right time to prune your apple trees – if nothing else remove any crossing branches and shorten back the leading shoots by about one third. If you have had apple scab which is a fungus identified by olive green spots that later turn brown on the underside of the leaves which go hard and fall early it is important to rake up all of the leaves and dispose of them – NOT on the compost heap. Sometimes the disease spreads to the branches which should be cut out. While on the subject of apples, I see that there is now a “Chef-friendly apple – “Malus domestica Trinity” – the skin of this red fleshed apple dissolves when cooking saving the need to peel. Apparently there are few retailers offering it for sale.
If you have a pond in your garden with fish in it float something like a large ball to stop any ice from covering the entire pond. This helps to keep oxygen levels up and prevents a build-up of CO2. Never break ice with a hammer as the shock waves can stun the fish.
It is now the time to take root cuttings of plants like oriental poppies, Verbascum, phlox and acanthus.
Finally I discovered a fascinating book called “The Hidden Life of TREES” when looking for something to spend a book token on. It is written by a German forester and discusses what trees feel, how they communicate and how their roots work together with fungi. It only costs £9.99 and is well worth reading.
In the meantime stay safe and enjoy what you can in the garden.
Gardening Group Programme of Meetings and Events