Burpham Gardening Club News

Written by John Boon

January & February 2020

Congratulations to Carol Bennett the winner of the Club’s 2019 Banksian Medal and to David and Pat Taylor of Farm Cott, Merrow Lane who have won the Deane Trophy for Best Kept Summer Front garden. We look forward to hearing Paul Patton’s talk on January 28th on Growing Vegetables for the Kitchen.

Things to do in the garden in January.

  • On a dry day lightly dig over the vegetable patch to let the frost in, well rotted manure or compost should then be dug into the soil and left until the plot is ready to be cultivated.
  • Apple and Pear trees can now be pruned, on older mature trees congested growth should be cut away to increase airflow thus improving the quality of next seasons fruit, cut back to a fruit bud which is large and rounded to encourage the formation of fruiting branches, one year old shoots should be pruned back to a slender growth bud. whilst the tree is dormant in can be sprayed with an oil based product to kill off overwintering Aphids, Scale Insects and Red Spider Mites.
  • We will all have received House Plants as gifts over the Christmas Period, Poinsettias need a minimum temperature of 16-19°C, Amarllis prefer to be slightly warmer and Azaleas like to be slightly cooler but you will be more likely to kill them by overwatering, the best rule to follow is only water when the pot feels light, the exception is the Azalea which has a very compact root system which dries out very quickly and needs to be kept watered preferably with rainwater.

On wet, cold and windy days the only enjoyable task is to look through the many catalogues which have been landing on the doormat recently

  • On wet, cold and windy days the only enjoyable task is to look through the many catalogues which have been landing on the doormat recently so that you can plan your displays for the forthcoming Summer.

Things to do in the garden in February.

  • In the middle of this month you can give your indoor Tomatoes and Cucumbers an early start by sowing the seed at 21°C.
  • If the weather is mild an early sowing of Broad Beans, Carrots, Beetroot, Parsnips and Peas can be made under cloches.
  • Early Potatoes should be chitted in a light, cool, frost free place.
  • Dahlias can now be started into growth in pots to provide cuttings for extra plants this coming Summer.
  • Sow Sweet Peas and pot on those sown in the Autumn.
  • Protect Lilies’, Delphiniums, Lupin, and Hosta shoots from slugs and snails.
  • Top dress flower beds and borders with a balanced dressing of a fertiliser such as Growmore.
  • Prune Mahonia after flowering to encourage branching.
  • Cut back Wisteria side shoots to two or three buds.
  • Cut back late Summer and Autumn flowering Clematis to the lowest of a pair of strong buds.
  • Deadhead Winter flowering Heathers once the flowers have faded with a pair of shears.
  • Scarify and spike the lawn when the grass is reasonably dry to improve drainage and growth.

To join the club or our meetings Call John Boon on 01483 874123

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