Last month our speaker was Geoff Hodge with his talk entitled All Muck and Magic. Geoff was a most interesting and knowledgeable speaker on all things soil and plant nutrition based. He explained that just as we need proteins carbohydrates and fats in our diets, plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in theirs. Unlike us they can’t just up and go to their favourite restaurant so it’s up to us to bring the nutrition to them. He also talked about newly released microrhizome and probiotic foods for better plant health. In summary the secret to healthy plants all starts with the soil. Healthier plants are better able to tolerate drought and diseases and produce more fruit or flowers. Yet again it seems that our grandparents knew what they were about digging in lots of old-fashioned organic matter from the stables. I do feed my garden regularly but now have some tips on how to do this more effectively and efficiently.

This month’s meeting sees the start of our summer visits on 11th May to Mayfield Farm Garden, Ardleigh. Its described as a large county garden, which usually has an ambitious project on the go! Can’t wait to see what that might be.

Deben flower club are having a flower festival in Kirton Church on 3rd and 4th June. The garden club will be having a plant stall at the event to raise funds for our club too. Any donations of plants for the stall would be most welcome.

My own ambitious project has stalled a little awaiting tradesman but there are plenty of other things to be doing as we head into May. I think my favourite month in the garden year, when fruit blossom is at its most bountiful and everything still looks lush and green. My daughter gave me three fruit trees for Christmas, an apple, pear and a cherry. As I write the “sticks” I lovingly planted (in well prepared soil Geoff) are starting to green up. I’m not expecting much blossom this year but look forward to the future. Tulips, bluebells, cowslips, cow parsley and forget me nots will also be apparent. Luckily May spreads into June and lights up the summer. If May is the peak of the year then the journey back down is still filled with lovely things. All the lawn mowing, weeding, pricking out, and potting on is building to the summer. This is what it’s all for and the driving force behind every gardener to produce your own little Eden. So much to look forward to. Can’t wait.

Jobs for May

  • As frost becomes less likely tender plants can be put out but cover with fleece if the temperature does dip. Its also a good time to prune them cutting back any damaged shoots
  • Deadhead tulips to so that the plants energy goes into the bulb rather than seeds to improve the chances of flowers next year
  • Stake emerging growth in borders before it grows too tall.
  • Prune early flowering clematis like Clematis Alpina immediately after they have finished flowering

On the veg plot

  • Harvest rhubarb
  • Sow veg outdoors for a successional supply of produce such as beetroot, carrots, kohlirabi and salad leaves. You can sow beetroot, lettuce or sweetcorn between onion rows
  • Sow courgettes, pumpkins and squashes under cover
  • Keep potting on and transplanting tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.

Summer is firmly on its way now with so much in store to look forward to. Happy gardening


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