Happy New Year to all our members & friends. Apart from the latest little glitch, here’s hoping normality will return soon.
Our January talk on “Pot Plants for the Greenhouse & the Show Bench” will take place on Thursday 20th January at Clarkston Halls at 7.30pm. This is contrary to the Community Magazine announcement we will be at Broom Church at 2.00pm. I don’t know where they got that information from!!!
Talk takes place after our short A.G.M.
Jobs for January– What to do with left over Poinsettias – do you want to keep them growing and even have coloured bracts for next Christmas? This plant, shown above in a Madeira graveyard at 3m tall, originates from Mexico and is very easy to keep growing.
Keep on the dry side from Jan-March. (leaves yellowing or falling off indicates it’s too dry).
They don’t like fluctuating temperature or draughts and need good light. Increase water & feed in April and by beginning of May cut plant well back (at least 50%) which will encourage lush new growth. Feed & water regularly.
Now the hard part. They need 14hrs complete darkness from the end of September to initiate the coloured bracts. Put in a cupboard, excluding all light between 6.00pm – 8.00am (no peeking!) and during day bring into warmth & full light. Water & feed as normal. Do this for about 8 weeks and colour should start to show in December. Simple!!
Rhubarb – rhubarb – rhubarb – Have you had your current rhubarb plants for over 5 years? Then between now & spring is a good time to lift & divide, which invigorates the plant. The crowns can get a bit woody, but if you lift & divide this perennial when ground conditions allow and you will get a resurgent plant in late spring. Simply dig around the whole plant, 6-8 inches deep and lift the whole clump out. Divide up with a sharp spade into sections containing at least one crown bud (or up to 2 or 3 buds) and plenty of root material. The more buds, the bigger the new clump, but you can re-plant single bud sections in twos or threes to provide the same effect. Planting site should be in full sun, augmented with some fresh organic material and a handful of bone meal per planting hole. Buds should be just below the surface. Mulch with straw if you can. Top tip – try not to harvest stalks in the first year but cut back at around 30cms. This allows the crown to build up strength for next year. New plants will then give you an abundance of delicious ruby red stalks for the rhubarb crumble.
Hope you all have a prosperous New Year and happy gardening!
Fergus Cumming – President (0141 620 1435)