It’s cold; no doubt you’ll have noticed. Early morning temperatures have been down to 3ºC in the garden outside and to 5ºC inside the greenhouse. That’s about what we expect, a 2º lift. This is a cool greenhouse. There is no power, no gas, no way of raising the temperature. We need to devise other ways to protect tender species.
Many gingers are hardier than they look. Most of the gingers we are growing originate from regions where there is a sub-tropical monsoon in the summer followed by an exceptionally dry winter. These gingers naturally have a period of dormancy every year when all top growth dies off and the plant’s energy is stored in its rhizome. What is most important is the dryness so that the rhizomes don’t rot and if they don’t get frozen, rhizomes will produce shoots again once the weather warms up, (or we warm it artificially as we plan to do).
And that’s the most important thing we’re going to be doing this month. Creating a dry environment that’s protected from frost and putting the gingers to sleep in it. For this we’re going to use the jungle bed. I’m pleased to report that all the manure has already been dug out from underneath the compost. So the bed is ready to use.
But first we need to catalogue them. Where we have multiples we’re going to be choosing which one we’re going to use next year. A few of them need re-potting but we’re not going to be doing any divisions. How many of the target species do we already have? I’m glad to say we have most of them but there are still a couple to be sourced.
It’s not just the gingers, we also need to preserve some of the herbaceous subtropical climbers that we want to use on next year’s floral wall. Both these and ginger specimens we’re not planning to use will be bubble wrapped.
Finally we need to begin to clean up. We need to remove the climbing stems from the netting on the East wall and maintain the netting. We also need to clean the staging on that side.
So there is plenty to do and plenty to learn this month. Here is the target list for the exhibition with their economic uses.
Species repertoire for Just Gingers Lower greenhouse display 2017