Ropley Horticultural Society

One of the many things we have learned from Covid 19 is that we have had to find workaround solutions but in spite of this the Horticultural Society will not be holding its three remaining members’ meetings this year.  We are hoping to rearrange them for 2021.   We have booked our Spring and Summer Shows in the hope that these will be able to take place but, of course, we shall have to wait and see what the situation is at that time.  After our 2020 success we will repeat the Plant Sale in May 2021 either in the Sports Pavilion or on-line as we did this year.  We are also currently planning how we can hold our AGM and members’ meetings through the early months of 2021.

By the time you read this Winter will be upon us and it is traditionally a time to sit in front of a warm fire and plan what you would like to achieve and change in your garden for the next year.  However, there are a few jobs which you can be doing before the weather gets too cold and I have listed some of them below.

In November:

  • Clear up fallen leaves – especially from lawns, ponds and borders and make leaf mould, mulch or compost
  • Cut lawn edges to make your garden look tidy for the Winter
  • Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent waterlogging
  • Plant tulip bulbs for a spring display next year
  • Prune roses to prevent wind-rock
  • Plant out Winter bedding
  • Stake top heavy brassicas and cover with netting if pigeons are a problem.
  • Put out bird food to encourage birds to come into your garden
  • Stop Winter moth damage to fruit trees by fitting grease bands around the trunks
  • Spread well rotted manure or compost across the surface of your flower and vegetable beds

In December:

  • Check your Winter protection structures are still securely in place
  • Check your greenhouse heaters are working
  • Insulate outdoor taps
  • Prune acers, birches and vines before Christmas to avoid bleeding
  • Take hardwood cuttings
  • Keep mice away from stored produce
  • Reduce watering of houseplants
  • Deciduous trees and shrubs can still be planted and transplanted
  • Winter prune wisteria cutting back Summer side shoots to 2 or 3 buds
  • Check climbers are securely attached to their supports with tie
  • Cut a few stems of holly with berries for Christmas decorations before the birds eat them!

What 2021 will bring is unknown but I know our gardens will be just as important for our wellbeing and enjoyment as they have been this year.  I hope you will have a very Happy Christmas and be able to enjoy a New Year which will bring health and happiness to us all.

Jill Shakespeare