Greenfingers - September 2017

Since the intensive but enjoyable effort to ready the garden for the Minch Open Gardens at the beginning of July, maintaining it in a reasonable state has been relatively easy. Satisfaction all round then: in the preparation; meeting the many visitors who, on the whole, enjoyed the variety of gardens as well as teas and cakes; and the owners, who have had a few weeks to relax. Thank you to all who opened their gardens, donated cakes or helped out, and to the visitors.

Tomatoes0917The next garden-related community event is the Minchinhampton Gardening Club Annual Show, which will be held in the school hall on Saturday 9th September from 11am until 4pm, when the presentations will be made. Show Schedules are generally available in shops around the town. The kudos of gaining a red (first) certificate for an exhibit is probably great, but winning a cup bestows 12 months of boasting rights. I know, Deb won one last year, and Nich won two, so it’s fortunate that Janet won 2 as well.

Collecting seed for next year’s plants is one of September’s gardening tasks. As well as saving a few pounds, after a few years of taking seed from plants which perform well, the desirable attributes for your garden conditions will be enhanced, resulting in better crops or flowers. It is important to dry the seed properly and store in paper envelopes in a cool dry place. Another propagation task which can be undertaken over the next month or two is dividing herbaceous perennials.

In the vegetable garden, rooted strawberry runners can be planted out, and quick-maturing salad crops can be sown. Maintain a steady watering regime for tomatoes and vegetables, especially during dry weather, to avoid blossom end rot in tomatoes and splitting in root crops.

Pete Smith