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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.


A YEAR AFTER FIRST LOCKDOWN

Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Well, maybe. We hope to hold some talks for later this year and organise a Summer Show. Please keep a note in your diary, for we plan to hold a show on Saturday 11th September. We have published no schedule, but if you still have last year’s we will adapt the 2020 classes and publish a show schedule nearer the time.  So keep your (green) fingers crossed.

Jobs for the garden

Fred’s April suggestions. See below.

Why not send us some pictures of your Spring garden? Here’s a picture from Jeremy Dick and there are more here.

Broadview Farm

Broadview Farm looking North from The Ridge


Jobs for the Garden in April

Lawns
This is a good month to be sowing new lawns. It may still be cool, but it is warm enough for grass seed to germinate and to be establishing before the hot weather comes (dream on!). Birds love grass seed but do not care for germinated seed. So, produce germinated grass seed by ¾ filling a bin liner with damp compost, add a pot of good quality grass seed and mix in, tie it up and leave in the garage. The seed will germinate after several days and then be ready for use. When spread it on the ground the birds will leave it alone.

Lawns sown last autumn will have their roots down by now and will need no watering. Newly sown lawns may need watering if there are early-season dry spells.

April is a very good time to deal with moss in lawns. Apply your moss treatment according to the maker’s instructions and then rake out the dead moss. Alternatively, if you don’t want a back-ricking job and are prepared to pay a bit more, then buy a slow-release organic lawn fertiliser such as MO Bacter, which will feed your lawn and destroy the moss at the same time – no need to rake out the moss and no black patches either.

The good news is that the grass is beginning to grow now, so should soon thicken and spread into gaps left by the moss.

Pruning and Training
Summer-flowering heathers can be clipped over at the tips just as they start to grow again. Shear off the old, flowered parts of the stems, to encourage lower side shoots to fill out and keep the plants dense and even.

Start nipping out with finger and thumb the principal leaders of shrubs you wish to keep dense, such as rosemary, sages, and cistus. Nipping out now makes for a fuller bush in later years.

Flowers
Sow hardy annuals like cornflowers, nasturtiums and calendulas where they are intended to flower.

The more prized daffodils can be dead-headed – if you have the patience – to build up the bulbs for next year.

Plant gladioli in good rich soil 15 cm deep.

Any tender plants bought now for summer pots and containers must be left outside on mild days only, to harden them off, and brought under glass or indoors if frost threatens.

If you grow roses which are prone to fungal diseases, now is the time to start a programme of spraying with fungicide. Don’t wait for the symptoms to appear.

Kitchen Garden
Time to plant your potatoes and onion sets.
Sow: peas, broad beans, cauliflowers, brussels sprouts, onions, turnips, beetroot, parsnips and leeks this month.

Now is also the time to sow onions, leeks and celery indoors.

Do stay in touch. You can see our email and Facebook contact details here.

Happy gardening.

Fred Davison

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