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The Committee has planned a full programme of events up to January 2018. (See Programme 2017/18)

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What's Happening ?     Last Updated: Sunday 28th May 2017

Unforseen circumstances forced a change of speaker for our April meeting on Monday 24th April 2017. John Mabbett from North Ferriby stepped in at short notice to talk about growing and showing Sweet Peas.  According to John, the exhibition of Sweet Peas at specialist Shows appears to be declining.  Anyone who wishes to find out more about Sweet Peas can do so from the National Sweet Pea Society website here

John grows his crop using the cordon system on an open allotment at North Ferriby but, as with most produce these days, he reports that the best Sweet Peas are grown under cover in a protected and controllable environment.  Of the three types of Sweet Pea (Old-Fashioned, Spencer and Grandiflora), it is the Spencer type that is almost exclusively preferred for show work as it will produce 4 flowered blooms of good quality and other desirable characteristics.  John starts his seeds off in the late Autumn on a hotbed in the greenhouse.  He sows 50 seeds per tray and the seedlings are potted on into 5" pots (5 per pot) once the stems reach the two sets of leaves stage and about 1 1/2 " in height.  He trims a little off the main tap root to encourage better root formation and nips out the primary stem to encourage side shoots.  The pots are placed in a cold frame until planting out time in March/April, being careful to avoid mouse attacks.  He erects a timber framework over his beds with long canes spaced at 8" centres.  The best shoot is selected for tying to the cane using a Max Tapener machine and only then are the other stems removed, in case of accidental breakages.  During the growing season, he sprays against aphids and associated virus disease as well as foliar feeding with a seaweed-based fertiliser.  Layering is completed when the stems are sufficiently long and the flowers removed from the horizontal length.  John takes his stems horizontally along to the 5th cane on, before tying in the stem to begin its upward growth again. Spencer varieties first produce 2 and 3 flowered blooms but will eventually yield the desired 4 flowered blooms if the earlier blooms are removed. John usually grows five varieties (4 bankers plus one experimental) each year, normally including such varieties as White Frills, Valerie Harrod (pink) and Gwendoline (pink).  For serious show work it is important that the oasis remains below the upper level of the bikini vase (to allow sufficent room for topping up with water, apparently) and to use the correct placement of foliage - a double leafed piece of stem in the oasis behind the stems with a similar piece placed in front with the upper section of stem split to allow the insertion of the variety card.  Should you need to purchase bikini vases, I found this link and this link also.


Three upcoming Plant sale dates for your diary. Saturday May 6 - Swanland, 24 West End, Tony Featherstone's house - 8 till 12 - Tomato plants, bedding flower plants, cakes and a bottle tombola.  All at keen prices in aid of Swanland Show. Also on the same Day -  Driffield Chrysanth Society - chrysanth cuttings  -  Original Keys Pub, Cross Hill Car Park, Driffield - 8.30 till 12.30.  Saturday May 13 - North Ferriby Plant Sale - Village Hall - 10 till 12.


I have updated Local Shows 2016/17 page as far as I am able. If anyone wishes their Show dates to be advertised on this website page then please contact me in person, through the webmaster email link shown on the Home Page, the Guestbook link,  phone, or even drop me an old-fashioned note through the post.  Humberside Chrysanthemum Club is a useful link for listing many shows, especially those held towards the end of the season but is not currently updated with any 2017 dates. 

Those of you on Facebook will no doubt be familiar with Giantveg blog postings. They have produced a number of instructional video clips and you can access them all via their website here. They may also be able to supply seeds for purchase.

For those of you who like the idea of fitting empty shotgun cartridges to the ends of their garden canes (as shown in Tony Featherstone's garden photo in Growing Hints) then you might wish to obtain some via Paul Atkinson whose email address can be found in his comment in Guestbook.

Our Secretary, Trevor Barningham, is still collecting the bar code labels from any Taylors of Harrogate product cartons that you may have finished with.  They are worth money to Trevor who can redeem them to support a wheelchair charity that he is raising funds for. So please bring any old tea cartons bearing the bar code section along to Trevor at future meetings, if you can please. 

Although collecting rubbish and recyclable materials are considered to be statutuory services, the collection of green waste is not.  According to Garden News, some 44% of local Councils across the UK already charge for collection of green waste with charges averaging £20-£50 per household per annum.  It is feared that, faced with further budgetary constraints, all Councils may be forced to levy a green waste collection charge within the next five years.  Should this come to pass locally, those of you with compost bins, at home or on the allotment, will obviously benefit in being able to recycle most of your green waste materials for free.

JBA Seed Potatoes has just launched a new product called Blight Guard which is available via Amazon.  You can read more about it here.


The Committee will meet shortly to discuss arrangements for the Annual Show on Sunday 1st October 2017 and to agree the Show classes.  A digital version of the Schedule will be posted on this website as soon as I have the information.

An interesting video by the Ancient Society of York Florists - The world's oldest Horticultural Society -  can be seen here.

If you saw the TV programme you might wish to buy the book - The Great British Village Show. Details here.

Morrisons the supermarket is giving away used coffee grounds from its cafes.  You can read all about it here.

Make you own nematode soup to kill slugs.  Read all about it here Make_your_own_slug_killer.pdf

An interesting way to assess the type of soil you have by looking at the types of weeds that grow there. Read all about it here.

An interesting article about the history of allotments from the Daily Mail can be seen here.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday 29th May 2017 at the Conservative Club, Beverley commencing 7.30pm when David Allison FNVS will talk about Fuchsias For Everyone.

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