We will be planting our ‘early’ varieties of potatoes this week. The main crop potatoes will follow in mid April. Our ‘earlies’ are :- 1) Red Duke of York particularly good as an early salad variety 2) International Kidney with an excellent flavour and waxy texture 3) Casablanca said to have an excellent flavour and 4) Charlotte another salad potato with a smooth skinned and waxy texture.
Our heated propagators are very full at the moment, however there should be just enough space for us to sow another 120 dwarf sunflower seeds.
We will be sowing herb seeds in multi seed pots and these will include three varieties of basil, sweet basil, purple basil and lemon basil. We will also be sowing some dill.
Claire Ganley has kindly made us more beautifully designed garden signs, including two about our bat boxes so we will be putting up these signs this week. You can see more of Claire’s work here https://www.instagram.com/signsbyclaire/
There is more pressure washing of the staging to be done and a little more levelling of the paths down by the passive greenhouse in readiness for a path resurfacing job in the near future. We will also be doing the final touches to the newly positioned mud kitchen. We are going to be looking spic and span for the Easter weekend (April 3rd) reopening to the public!
A (slightly obscure) request: if you have a magnolia tree near you which you are able to pick some blossoms from, please can you email firstname.lastname@example.org
In other BPCG news, Jo Ferguson from the Bat Conservation Trust gave a great online talk last Tuesday about these most fascinating of mammals. Her highly recommended talk and all the booklets and online guides that she mentioned can be found here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/urban-bat-ecology-and-conservation-an-online-talk-by-jo-ferguson/
In other news, Suzie who lives in Tulse Hill has a large barerooted Yukka tree (8 to 10 foot) available to anyone who is interested. If you’d like it, please contact Suzie direct on email@example.com
The Orchard Project are running their fantastic Community Orcharding course again from end of March. Cat did this course and highly recommends it. For more details go here https://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/events/cico7/
With the help of Perennial (the gardening charity), Lambeth Horticultural Society is beginning its 2021 season on 24 March with its first online talk – a virtual tour of the gorgeous garden at Arundel Castle with Martin Duncan, the head gardener and designer. The Zoom link will be sent to members beforehand. New members who’d like to join for the talk should download the form from the website http://www.lambethhorticulturalsociety.org.uk/membership/
Membership of the LHS gains you access to their trading hut, which is open on Sundays from 10am to midday selling a wide range of gardening supplies, including a good selection of seed potatoes and summer bulbs. Details here: http://www.lambethhorticulturalsociety.org.uk/the-hut/
And finally, thanks to Jane Perrone’s podcast ‘On the Ledge’ on house plants, here’s some excellent advice on that irritating problem of tiny black flies floating around your house plants which people quite often worry about. Fungus gnats, also known as sciarid flies, lay their eggs in houseplant compost, and their larvae (transparent, black-headed worms 5-10mm long) feed on fungus and algae in the soil. They don’t do much harm to mature plants but can kill seedlings. Either way, they are unsightly and annoying. The safest way to tackle the problem is biological control – hypoapsis mites or nematodes that will kill off the larvae. These treatments are safe for humans and pets: applied twice a year, they will keep the problem under control. In addition, try Zoot Off Sciarid fly granules as a top dressing on your pots. This discourages the flies from laying their eggs.