Gardener's Notebook - First horticulture society meeting set

This is a busy week! To start, the first fall meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be held on Wednesday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. at SIGN on North Street, Yorkton.  Special guest speaker will be John Tropin doing a fascinating presentation about their trip to Holland, including the world-famous Keukenhof gardens.  The Keukenhof website (www.holland.com) says that “Keukenhof is a park where more than 7 million flower bulbs are planted every year.

Gardens and four pavilions show a fantastic collection of: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and many other flowers. You will be overwhelmed by a spectacle of colors and perfumes.” Imagine how beautiful that must be!  We’ll see pictures of it in John’s presentation at the meeting. Everyone is welcome, and remember, you don’t have to be a member of the group to come to the meeting!

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Then on Friday, it’s our Fall Plant and Bulb Sale on Friday, September 20 from 9:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. (or while plants last) at the Parkland Mall, Yorkton. This is a fine time to plant new additions to your garden; they’ll get settled in nicely before winter. If you’re looking for certain plants, be there when the sale begins for best selection!  

Though we hate to think about it, the time has come where we have to start bringing in some of our plants. We all have favorite plants that we hope to keep over, so how do we do it?

First, some housekeeping jobs. We have to check our plants and be sure that we trim off any damaged or diseased leaves and branches.  These trimmings must go into the garbage, not the compost. Next, we have to check to be sure that there are no pests of any kind on or under the leaves or on the stems.  If there are, it’s time for our plants to have the spa treatment: a good bath with insecticidal soap, then a gentle rinse with clear water. I have read about making our own insecticidal soap, but it’s more than mixing up dishwashing detergent with water. Some dishwashing soaps have ingredients that may be harsh on the plants, so if we are going to be using any kind of soap on our plants, we may as well use the kind that is meant especially for them for best results.

After this, we can bring them in to the house. A few notes: we shouldn’t wait until the air turns very cold before bringing the plants in.  The extreme difference in temperature will be a shock to their systems, resulting in problems such as leaf loss. Bring them in gently before the cold air arrives. We should also try and find a spot in our homes that has the same amount of light that the plant had when it was growing outside. And we should avoid extremes of temperature like placing the plant near a register or a drafty door or window.

Transplanting our plants into new containers is sometimes necessary, but we should remember that this will cause them stress and set them back, in addition to the stress of moving them to a new location. So if we can, it’s good to leave them in the containers where they are currently living. I know some gifted gardeners take slips of some of their plants and keep their favorites going in this manner.

When our plants are moved, we have to remember that they may not dry out as quickly as they did when they were outside, so we must check each one before watering. But with our help, and a little luck, our plants will make it over the winter and give us a beautiful show again next spring!

Visit the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society at www.yorktonhort.ca, and have a great week!

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