Cold Ash Horticultural Society

Welcome to Cold Ash Horticultural Society! The aim of the Society is to promote the enjoyment and benefits of amateur gardening. To that end we arrange informative and social activities for members and visitors.

Here you can find details on our History, keep up-to-date on our News Page, plus discover our Upcoming Events

The Autumn Newsletter is here

12 pages packed with articles and pictures.


The 2021 Cold Ash Summer Flower and Produce Show will be our first planned event on Saturday 11th September. Why not grow something and enter it? There’s still time. Let’s make the 2021 show a special event to celebrate the return of a long-standing village tradition. We plan to publish a schedule shortly using last year’s classes.

Jobs for the garden

Fred’s June suggestions. See below.

Why not send us some pictures of your Summer garden? Here’s a picture from Marguerite Shave and there are more here.

No-May-Mow lawn

Marguerite Shave’s No-May-Mow lawn

Jobs for the Garden in June

Hardening Off

The beginning of June is the safest time to move your tender plants, grown in a greenhouse, outdoors. Plants grown for colour such as Salvias, Pelargoniums and Osteospermums should be moved outside this month. The trick is to make the move gradual and avoid the stress of a sudden change in conditions. ‘Hardening off’ should be a step-by-step process that encourages plants to develop tougher, waxy or hairy leaf surfaces, so allowing them to survive our unpredictable British climate. To do the job properly takes about 10 to 20 days depending on the plant and the environment it has moved from. The rule of thumb is the warmer the indoor growing conditions were the longer the process will take.

Tender vegetables such as courgette, pumpkin, squash, sweet corn and tomatoes can be planted out when the temperature falls no lower than 10oC (50oF). Aubergines, peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes can also be planted out at this time but will benefit from protection throughout the summer.

Cold sensitive bedding plants – Alyssum, Antirrhinum, Dahlia, bedding fuchsia, Lobelia, Petunia and Tagetes plant out a week or two later than tender vegetables seedlings at temperatures no lower than 10 – 12oC (50 – 54oF).

Sub-tropical exotics – Begonia, Canna, tender fuchsia, Impatiens, Ipomoea, pelargoniums and most house plants: plant out when night temperatures are above 10oC (50oF) and around 14 -16oC (57- 61oF) during the day.

Prune Spring-flowering shrubs

Prune spring-flowering shrubsDeciduous shrubs that flowered in the spring on the previous year’s growth, such as Weigela and Exchorda should be pruned now. Removing older stems soon after flowering allows time for the development and ripening of new growth that will carry next year’s flowers.

Tie Climbing Plants into Supports

Tie Climbing Plants into SuppportsNew growth on climbers such as clematis, wisteria and jasmine should be tied in regularly. Aim for even covering of supports such as trellis, obelisks and arbours.

Greener Gardening

Lawn Mowings

Lawn Mowings When adding lawn clippings to compost mix them with carbon-rich ‘brown’ material. Such as prunings or cardboard to stop the compost becoming too wet. If you have used a weedkiller on the lawn remember to check it is safe to compost the grass clippings straight away.


RosesRemember to look out for black spot and mildew on your roses and deal with it straight away. Have you tried SB Plant Invigorator? It is eco-friendly pesticide and plant feed available on the internet. It works against whitefly, aphids, spider mites, mealybug, scale, and psyllids and is non-toxic. When sprayed on the leaves it feeds your plants and acts as a fungicide all year round.

Dead head repeat-flowering roses to encourage a good flowering later in the summer. Use sharp secateurs and, cut down to the first leaf beneath the flower.

Conserve Water for Containers

During dry weather, stand pot-grown plants in trays or saucers to catch run-off, thereby saving water and potentially reducing the amounts of nutrients lost by leaching.

Become a Regular Pest Inspector

Inspect plants for aphids, caterpillars and lily beetle larva. Hand removal of the early stages of an infestation can provide good control. The larvae of lady birds, lacewings and hoverflies all eat aphids, so it is worth being able to identify which larvae are beneficial.

PestsLook out for adult vine weevil, especially after dark, and pick them off to avoid them laying their eggs in your containers (adults are all female).  The eggs hatch into root-feasting grubs that destroy your container plants.

Let You Grass Grow Longer

Mowing less often or leaving some areas uncut has been shown to provide wildflower pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies, as well as cover and forage for a range of invertebrates. Take it easy this month and give nature a helping hand! Happy gardening

Fred Davison

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