A heads up that this Saturday 21st August from 5.30pm, the Young Propagators Society are holding a fascinating FREE evening of talks and discussions ‘Roots & Radicles’ at BPCG with creative urban activist and community gardener Carole Wright (founder of Blak Outside) and writer, natural historian and Kew-trained horticulturalist Richard Choksey. All ages welcome! Book here to come https://www.youngpropsoc.com/event-details/roots-radicles-1  

If you are also free to help set up from 4.30pm, and during and after the event, please email Steph on stephanieprior@live.co.uk

As part of our Windows to Nature Project funded by Postcode Local Trust, Joshua Piercey has made a fab short video detailing the story of our early summer resident blue tit and her chicks. Do watch! It’s only 4 minutes long.
https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/bpcg-birdbox-cam-a-blue-tit-raises-a-brood-in-our-sycamore-tree/

And in BPCG garden news, if you have an orchard as we do, or even just one fruit tree, July and August are the months of the year that are suitable for summer pruning of fruit trees. However in order to do this you need to understand a little about how trees grow and the different effects on the tree’s growth arising from summer and winter pruning. At the community greenhouse we have a number of different fruit trees to consider.

A simple rule is that if you have a stone fruit tree, that is any fruit tree which produces fruits with stones, in our case cherry, greengage, damson and apricot, they all should only be pruned in the summer and never in the winter. Stone fruit generally do not need extensive pruning but over time may need to have damaged branches removed, or if the trees have been planted too closely together so that one tree’s branches start to grow into the neighbouring tree’s, (as it the case with ours,) we prune away some of this growth as a way of separating the trees allowing more light and air to flow around their branches. Light is good for ripening fruit and air flow in orchards is important as it reduces the risk of fungal infections. With young trees there may also be a need to raise their canopy by pruning away the smallest branches lowest down the trunk.

Stone fruit are very susceptible to infection by a fungal disease of the wood called ‘silver leaf’ which enters the tree through wounds and pruning cuts causing a silvering of the leaves followed by death of the branch. Fungal diseases are most likely to spread in damp weather, ( as happened with the blight that effected our tomatoes.) For this reason we try to protect our trees from being infected by silver leaf by pruning in July and August in the warmer months of the summer and importantly making a point of only pruning in dry weather.

This week we will be checking to see if any of our stone fruit trees need pruning. Next week we will be looking at summer pruning of apples and pears and at how summer pruning can be used to promote the development of more flower buds, leading to an increase in fruit yield the following year.

In other BPCG news, we are running short of bags at the shop again so if you have any second hand/ recycled ones going spare for folk to use to take home their plants and produce, please do bring them along to us.  Thank you!

Also, do book for our next Fermentation workshop with Jelena Belgrave on the afternoon of Saturday September 11th https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/fermentation-workshop-4/

And another date for your diary. On Sunday September 12th it’s our Harvest Fete 12.30pm to 5pm.   Spread the word!  Delicious food from our cob oven, Brixton Tatterjacks dancing, traditional games, crafts, facepainting and wood carving.  It’s going to be great.  Book to be a punter or let Kate know if you’d like to volunteer (kate@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk)   https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/harvest-fete/

In other news, check out these fantastic TFL Botanical maps of Brixton, which are also available from free from our BPCG shop.  https://art.tfl.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SH-560-Brixton-Botanical-Map-Foldout-DIGITALEXPORT_LR_01.pdf

Last but not least, from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday September 4th it’s the Lambeth Horticultural Society Late Summer Show at St Lukes Church, Kinghts Hill, West Norwood, SE27 0HY.  Entry is free.  Buy plants and goodies. Have a go at the Tombola. Refreshments are available.