Alex’ September Ramblings – last for the year!

The annual flower show for is over for another year and although I was elsewhere on the day, all the reports I am receiving, tell me that it was another excellent one, both in terms of quantity and quality. Hearty congratulations to all that entered. It is pleasing to see that we had a new winner of the Banksian Medal by a member showing only for the second time. The winner claims that until two years ago they were not a gardener! It just goes to show what can be achieved by determination and a little skill. I hope this will encourage more to participate.

I have visited other shows this year ranging from the small at Writhlington, to the large at Frome and I can honestly say that Wellow’s is as good as or usually better than those I have seen. We certainly punch above our weight!

This will be the last of my ramblings for the current year but it does not signify the easing of efforts in the garden. The worst feature in my garden this year, along with most others, has been my lawn. It has endured baking high temperatures combined with a drought and I must turn my efforts to helping it to revive. Given time, it will recover but it will benefit from a feed and weed, scarification and resowing of bald patches. Many flowering plants are now at their best and dead heading will ensure that their flowering season will be maximised.

As far as vegetables are concerned, harvesting continues at a pace. This year has, as usual, featured ups and downs. Good results have been achieved with French beans, shallots, carrots, sweet corn, salad crops, squash etc. In the greenhouse I have had bumper crops from tomatoes, cucumbers (of which I have had 51 to date with more to come), pepper and chillies. Poor performances have been experienced with onions, runner beans mangetout etc. Late autumn/winter cropping will come from leeks, Brussels sprouts and carrots.

Many will think that it is time to put the garden to bed but now is the time to plant autumn onions which will harvest at least four weeks earlier than main crop, together with shallots and garlic. If you are leaving any ground bare, it is a good idea to sow a green manure crop which can be dug in to increase the availability of nitrogen to plants.

Next year sees the staging of the Society’s seventieth annual show. I know the show committee are already looking to see what can be done to make it an even more memorable one. I’m already making my selections for next year and am hoping for conditions more amenable to growing good crops. I hope more of you will feel the urge to get involved in showing your produceand make 2019 a very special and even more successful event.

I wish you all good gardening and plan to be back in the Spring of 2019.