April 2021

Winners of the show bench sections in February as judged by Judy Hopkins

Section

First

Second

Third

Flower of the month

Ralph Slaughter

Heather Coustley

Carol Burns

One Rose  

Diane Hall

Heather Coustley

Hillary Height

One stem of other flower (not a Rose)

Robyn Hill

Ralph Slaughter

Jan Swan

Stem of foliage (no buds or flowers)

Ralph Slaughter

Hillary Height

Judy Butler

Floral Art (in water)

Hillary Height

Annette Willmott

Judy Butler

Bulbs, Tubers, Corms, Rhizomes

Heather Coustley

Annette Willmott

Ralph Slaughter

Flowering Shrub (in flower) 1 stem

Heather Coustley

Judy Butler

 Hillary Height

=  Robyn Hill

Container of flowers

Hillary Height

Ralph Slaughter

Judy Butler

Cacti, succulent or potted plant

Ralph Slaughter

Heather Coustley

-

Above ground vegetable

Carol Burns

Heather Coustley

Judy Butler

Below ground vegetable

Ralph Slaughter

Carol Burns

Judy Butler

Herbs (flowering, non-flowering, mixed)

Carol Burns

Heather Coustley

-

Fruits, Nuts

Ralph Slaughter

Judy Butler

Heather Coustley

Novice

Joy Vikas

-

BEST EXHIBIT

Carol Burns

 

From the Presidents Garden

 

Welcome everyone to our March newsletter and I hope that you have been enjoying the slightly warmer weather in your garden. However, I wonder if you have had the same experience as myself, and that is waiting, and waiting, and waiting, for your tomatoes to ripen? Jim and I love home grown tomatoes, nothing nicer that fresh basil chopped with red onion, or spring onions, and a ripe home-grown tomato with a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper on fresh sour dough. Yummy! But, we certainly had to practice patience this year with waiting for them to ripen. What pleasure I had with one of my tomatoes weighing in at 552gms! Unfortunately, our son did not have that patience and he decided to pull out all of his tomatoes but, being very conscious of not wasting food, he picked all the green tomatoes and kindly gave them to me to pickle, that was over 20 kgs of green tomatoes!  So now you know what I did last week. Yes! Anyone who now comes to my house gets a jar of Mustard pickles to take home. So far there have been no objections as they are unbelievably delicious on cold meat. In addition, they have also proven to be a valuable source of swapping excess veggies and home produce with my neighbours. So far I have had lovely fresh eggs, a delicious smoked salmon sauce for a pasta dish and a couple of plants for my garden, all swapped for a jar of pickles. Well worth the effort I think.

I would like to remind you that if you also have any excess produce you can bring it to our meetings and swap it with others if you like, or simply donate it to our members. Please also remember that the Baw Baw Food Relief will gladly take your excess veggies or fruit.

Happy gardening and I hope you enjoy today’s speaker.

Joy

 

Today’s guest speaker:    John Rowe ‘Growing prize Dahlias’

 

 

 

Things to do in the garden in April:

 

Once enough rain has fallen, April is probably the best month for planting seeds, seedlings, plus shrubs and trees that have been grown in containers. The soil is warm and stimulates root growth. Newly planted shrubs and trees get sufficient time to get their roots down deep before the hot weather returns.

 

 Flower garden.

Plant Sweet Pea seeds. Plant seeds of Viola, Pansy, Calendula, Cineraria, Alyssum, and Primulas. Seedlings of Polyanthus, Hollyhocks, Lupins, Stocks, Verbena, Iceland Poppy, Pansy and Viola planted now will begin to flower early and then flower right through winter. Violas will flower right through until the end of November, especially if grown in pots. Plant Pansies in a slightly shaded position for the Spring as they are not as heat resistant as Violas. Spring bulbs such as Tulips and Daffodils are best given 3-4 weeks in the fridge in brown paper bags before planting to simulate winter. Taking them out convinces them that winter is over! Bulb planting should be complete by the end of the month. Select and plant new Camellias. Sasanquas should be in flower by the end of the month. Spray roses with Mancozeb to prevent Mildew. Due to our cold and wet conditions Aphids are everywhere. Take action when first seen as this pest reproduces very fast without the need to mate before producing offspring.

 

 Vegetable Garden.

 Prepare good garden beds before planting winter vegetables such as Cauliflower, Cabbage and Broccoli. Dig plenty of organic compost and manure into the soil and then apply a good dressing of lime as most soils in the area are slightly acid and brassicas like a neutral Ph. Plant Onions, Shallots, Peas, Parsnips, more cabbage for continuity, Chinese Cabbage and Celery. Look out for the caterpillars of the White Cabbage Butterfly. Mavrik is an effective spray or Dipel for organic gardeners.

 

 Home Orchard.

Complete giving Citrus trees a dressing of a good Fruit Tree & Citrus fertiliser (Gigantic from Neutrog is excellent) to swell the size of the fruit and to improve sweetness. Water-in the fertiliser thoroughly and remove all weeds from the base of the trees. Plant new or replacement trees. Lemons, Oranges, Grapefruit and Mandarins all do well in this local area.

 

 Lawns.

March and April are the best months to sow new Lawns, with seed usually germinating in less than a week. The use of a Lawn Starter fertiliser when sowing the seed will pay dividends. It is also the best time to repair patches in old lawns. If after rain lots of weed seedlings occur so use a recommended lawn weeder spray.

 

Joke of the Year

 

 Gardening season is off to a great start.  In 2020 during lockdown, I planted myself in front of the TV and I’ve already grown noticeably.

 

This joke came from Irene who although still unwell manages to smile. We wish her all the best in a speedy and healthy recovery.

Next meeting:  Monday, 26th April commencing at 9.30am.  Doors open 9am for setting up.  Entries for show bench to be placed for judging prior to 9.30am.

Guest speaker April: Rolf Willig ‘Cacti and succulents

Flower of the month (April): Container of Chrysanthemums

March 2021

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

What interesting times we currently live in when making plans for the week ahead can so quickly come to nothing but lucky for us the 5 Day Lockdown ended in time for us to hold our February meeting but, we must be rigid in following COVID regulations. The committee agreed that we will hold the competitions and exhibitions but, so that we are adhering to the regulations, only one exhibit per person would be permitted in each category which will allow us to accommodate all the exhibits in the one area with social distancing. Still no cuppa at the meeting but everyone is invited to join us at the Newmasons afterwards.

Volunteers make things happen! Jim and I recently enjoyed a Tuesday morning helping at the Eastern Park community gardens at Warragul.  It was a very pleasant morning and I found it extremely rewarding being able to help to maintain the garden for members of the community to enjoy the wonderful and healthy veggies. I did find it amusing however as I started to weed a section of the garden and was very tactfully told by one of the regular helpers that I was pulling up the dandelions which they leave for some people who like to pick them to make a tea or eat as a salad vegetable. How silly did I feel, for as many of you would well know, I am a lover of some weeds! I look forward to the next time we can help.

Clubs need volunteers! At our club many members happily and willingly contribute to the organising of meetings etc. as did Di and John Dalton at our last meeting with their interesting presentation. Thank you again Di and John. However, at times we need that little bit of extra help too, as does everyone from time to time. If you would like to volunteer to help with being an extra assistant with such things as organising trips, publicity, or the newsletter, please let us know. Thank you to Heather Coustley who has volunteered to organise the purchase of new badges for our members, something we have been talking about for some time now. It is a well-known saying; “Many hands make light work.”

In this month’s ABC Gardening I found an interesting quote by Cicero. “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need” At the South Gippsland Regional Garden Club meeting which I attended recently at Leongatha with Ralph and Henry, one of the members from San Remo recommended reading, “The Well- Gardened Mind” by Sue Stuart-Smith. This book provides a new perspective on the power of gardening to change people’s lives. This book investigates the remarkable effects of nature on our health and wellbeing and I believe many of our members would certainly attest to this. Evidence of this must be with one of our past, very active members, Edna Cropley who has just celebrated her 100th birthday! She was an active member of our club for many years as well a committee member. Her sister Hilda judged bench entries for many years before moving to Melbourne. Edna, I am told, has just recently given up her weekly golf. A card was sent on your behalf congratulating her on this wonderful milestone.

So dear gardeners, the evidence is there, but I am certain you didn’t need to be reminded but maybe you can help to spread the news.

Happy gardening!

Joy

 

From Irene: Did you know?

  Dandelions are NOT weeds but are from the same family as Sunflowers.

One cup of dandelion greens = 535% of your daily recommended Vitamin K and 112% of Vitamin A.

A Dandelion Seed can travel up to 8kms before it lands. Every part of the Dandelion is edible.

Up until the 1800’s Dandelions were regarded as extremely beneficial.  People would remove grass to plant Dandelions.

 

PLEASE READ THE ATTACHMENT REGARDING THE TRIP TO CLOUDEHILL 25th MARCH

 

Things to do in the garden in March

The soil will remain warm enough right through until the end of April, so as soon as the Autumn rain arrives take the opportunity to sow relevant seeds. Unfortunately, this is also the time that weed seeds germinate in abundance so be ready to deal with that challenge. Hoeing soon after the little seedlings emerge will save hours later.

 

Flower Garden: Sow seeds of Carnation, Aquilegia, Alyssum, Cineraria, Delphinium, Dianthus, Polyanthus, Primula, Snapdragon, Viola and Wallflower. Alternatively purchase seedlings of the above and establish early. Planted by the beginning of April, Violas will last right through until December. Once the ground has been well wetted, select new shrubs to replace those lost during summer heat. Autumn is the best time of the year to plant trees and shrubs from pots as they will establish a new root system before next summer. Bare rooted planting should not begin until mid-May.

 

Vegetable Garden: Plant seeds of Beetroot, Cabbage, Turnip, Radish, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Silverbeet, Spinach and Spring Onion. Again, many of the above can be purchased as seedlings if required. Watch for signs of caterpillar damage on cabbages etc and take action. Mavrik is effective or the use of a product containing Bacillus theringiensis is a natural way to deal with the problem. The use of Seamungus in the beds at planting of most of the above gives seedlings a great start.

 

Lawns: Now is the best to establish new lawns either by seed or turf. New roots will be able to go deep down before the hot days of next summer. The use of specially formulated fertiliser at the time of sowing seed will pay dividends and will not burn the new roots. Provide fertiliser for established lawns and re-sow those dead or damaged areas. Do not use lawn fertiliser when the plants are very young.

 

 Orchard: Look for signs of Black Mould that usually indicates the presence of Scale. Ants running up the trunk of trees can be another sign. Spray with White Oil twice at an interval of a month. For heavy infestations it may be necessary to use an initial spraying of a Scale preparation that incorporates an insecticide. Citrus trees should receive a dressing of Fruit Tree Fertiliser during March such as Neutrog’s Gigantic around the drip line to swell the fruit and increase sweetness.

 

Places to go:

 

  • Fri. 5th (1.30pm – 5.00pm) &  Sat. 6th  (10.00.am -4.00pm) March.

Welshpool & District Horticultural Society Inc 60th Autumn Show at Welshpool Memorial Hall

                   “The Magic of Diamonds- featuring the colour silver.

  • Sat.6th & Sun7th March. (10am – 4pm) 

Plant Collectors Sale & Garden Expo - The Ferny Creek Horticultural Society,

100 Hilton Road, Sassafras. Free onsite parking -$5.00 Entry (under 14 free)

        Rare and unusual perennials, bulbs, trees, succulents and more. Set in 10 acres of beautiful gardens.             

        Guided walks available. Light refreshments available.

 

Please support our Club sponsors:  This is especially relevant now, as many businesses have suffered during the Covid lockdown. 

 

  • Rowes nursery,  They have a large range of plants for sale, a wealth of garden knowledge and ask about receiving their regular email newsletters.
  • Drouin Home Hardware, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Kurinda Roses, Warragul-Lardner Road, Warragul.  Select from their huge range of roses at reasonable prices. Shop now closed until bare-root plants available in May. They still have plants for sale at several markets including Rokeby and Longwarry.
  • Mattz Mowing and Garden Services. Lawn mowing, garden edges, hedge trimming, weed control, pruning, gutters cleaned etc.  Free quotes. Phone Matthew 0439 312 465

 

Printing of this newsletter courtesy Gary Blackwood MLA and staff, 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul.  5623 1960

February 2021

Today’s meeting: All COVID regulations will be maintained, i.e. social distancing, sanitising and face masks must be worn. Unfortunately, there are no exhibits or competition and we are unable to offer tea or coffee.

Today’s guest speakers are Di and John Dalton who will give a Power-Point presentation on the gardens and flower markets of the Netherlands and the magnificent Butchart Gardens in Canada.

 

A message from our President:

 

Dear Fellow Gardeners,

 

Welcome back!  I hope that this year will be a better year for us all. The Gardening Club have planned some great speakers, trips, and activities for 2021 and let’s cross our fingers and toes and pray that it will all come to fruition.

 

Included in this newsletter is the proposed plan for the year but, as I have said in the past, we as gardeners are like the willow and bend when the wind changes.

 

As you are already aware, we sadly are unable to hold the regular exhibits and competitions as we are following COVID regulations which require social distancing and thorough sanitizing of tables etc. We hope that we will be able to return to these in March but, we will wait and see. As well, we regret that we will not be able to offer morning tea, again due to strict hygiene regulations.

 

This is a wonderful time in the garden. Although perhaps it is a little bit cooler than usual I am really enjoying the beautiful summer colours in the gardens as I go for my daily walk as well as harvesting lots of fresh veggies and fruit from my small patch. I have an enormous crop of purple beans and silver beet.

Ralph has lots of tips in this newsletter to keep you busy this month in preparation for Winter, although during the last week we had a reminder of winter days as the jumpers and coats came back out of the wardrobe.

 

President’s recommendation:

For those of you who enjoy a good read after working hard in the garden may I suggest “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” by Holly Ringland. Beautifully written it tells the story of a young girl who goes to live on an Australian native flower farm and later in the outback. The story very cleverly tells of the Victorian tradition where flowers had meaning. Remarkably interesting!

 

Happy Gardening!   Joy

 

Things to do in the garden in February

 

Flower Garden

Plant seeds of Winter flowering annuals such as Pansy, Violas, Phlox, Alyssum, Primula etc so that they become established while the soil is still warm. Complete the division of Irises and tidy up plants, removing dead leaves. Do not put mulch around Irises and spray leaves with Liquid Copper if they show signs of fungus die-back. Buy spring bulbs as they appear in the stores & catalogues.

Cut back roses 55-65 days before Easter, providing another dose of fertiliser and a good watering so that they look great at Easter. Keep up the spraying for Aphids, Black Spot, and Downy Mildew.

 

Vegetable Garden

Plant seeds of Winter vegetables such as Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Leeks and Lettuce. Spring onions, Parsnips, Beetroot and Shallots can also be planted. Trim lower leaves from Tomatoes to allow quicker ripening and pinch out the tops of the plants before they get too high. Feed late crops of beans with a liquid fertiliser such as ‘Harvest’.

 

Home Orchard

Net trees to protect fruit from birds. Carry out summer pruning of stone fruit. Watch for infestations of ‘Pear Slug’ and treat with a pyrethroid such as Maverick. Remove any weeds around Citrus trees. Cut out old raspberry canes and tie up new ones that will provide next year’s fruit.

 

Lawns

Keep the mower blades high during the hot days of Summer. Provide water where necessary and a dressing of lawn fertiliser to keep the grass green and growing. Start to prepare ground for new lawns to be sown in March and April.

 

Handy hint:  To make a cheap easy greenhouse, cover a tub or large pot with a clear umbrella (from discount shops).  Remove part of the handle so it fits flush over your pots.

 

A few gardening one liners:

  • How do you stop rabbits digging in your garden?  You hide their shovels.
  • My neighbours don’t like it when I talk to my plants.  I use a megaphone.
  • My biologist friend tells me that constantly developing new plant varieties can be a strain.
  • How do gardeners learn their craft? By trowel and error.

 

Where do the Cabbage white butterflies go during winter?   What can you do to keep them off your plants?

 

To survive a period of cold weather, such as over winter, the pupae of the butterfly goes into a state of hibernation which means any further development is delayed until the weather warms up.  It can survive temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees so well able to survive our winters.

There are a few ways to deal with the moths in the warmer weather.  Firstly, block their access to your plants by covering with a net.  Secondly, they can be attracted elsewhere using egg shells (no need to crush them up – just leave them in halves – the moth will lay its eggs on the egg shells instead of your plants.  Remove and replace the shells frequently before the caterpillars emerge.  The butterflies are territorial so making white plastic cut-outs of butterflies (from ice-cream containers or similar) which you attach to bamboo stakes and place at varying heights around your plants will help to deter them.   A density of four to five per square metre will be needed.  This method can be used in addition to the egg shells.

 

Please support our Club sponsors:  This is especially relevant now, as many businesses have suffered during the Covid lockdown. 

 

  • Rowes nursery, ture of peet moss and top soil. The potatoes keep the stems moist and help develop the root systems. It's a perfectly simple way to multiply your rose garden without spending lots of $$$.Landsborough Road, Warragul.  They have a large range of plants for sale, a wealth of garden knowledge and ask about receiving their regular email newsletters. Rowe’s currently have white heavy duty bird netting for sale. 10 metres wide and cut to length at $9.95 per metre.
  • Drouin Home Hardware, Princes Way, Drouin. (On the Melbourne side of Drouin) Check their hardware, gardening products and plants.
  • Kurinda Roses, Warragul-Lardner Road, Warragul.  Select from their huge range of roses at reasonable prices.  They also have a lovely range of garden related gifts for sale in their shop.  They also have plants for sale at several markets including Rokeby and Longwarry.
  • Mattz Mowing and Garden Services. Lawn mowing, garden edges, hedge trimming, weed control, pruning, gutters cleaned etc.  Free quotes. Phone Matthew 0439 312 465

 

Printing of this newsletter courtesy Gary Blackwood MLA and staff, 3/24 Mason Street, Warragul.  5623 1960