Greenfingers - June 2018

We spent several days during April clearing the beds of weeds and applying a mulch. The mulch consisted of one section of the compost heap, which had been ready to go out since last autumn. The ‘middle’ section was then turned into the empty ‘ready’ container, and the ‘green’ compost turned into the middle. The green container is now filling rapidly with weeds, stalks, grass clippings and cardboard. I find the cardboard, torn into ~4” pieces, really helps the composting process, but not quite enough to destroy the weed seeds.

It’s remarkable how quickly plants catch up after a slow start, so hardy seed-lings were planted out at the end of April, as they tend to grow ‘leggy’ if kept in the greenhouse. The dahlias have been brought out of their winter resting place and warmed up and watered.

butterflyHaving tidied the beds, the new growth from the perennials looks very satisfying, but it is important to hoe the weed seedlings on dry days to keep them down, and fit supports over the taller plants to prevent them from flopping. One way of extending the flowering season of some perennials is to cut a third of the flowering stems down by half the height during late May.

It’s time to think about bedding plants and baskets, and particularly the Minchinhampton in Bloom competition for those in the conservation area. And the Gardening Club show schedule for the September show will be available by the time this article is published.

On June 16th, the 3 day old moon will be visible close to Venus after sunset low in the west, and a week later on 23rd, the moon will pass 4deg north of Jupiter.
Pete Smith