Gardener's Notebook - First meeting of fall for Horticulture Society

It’s meeting time again! The first meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society will be on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. at SIGN on North Street. Our special guest speaker will be Jenn Fedun speaking to us about “Prairie Plant Practices: Domestic Remedies and Healing Rituals”. This sounds like a fascinating topic, a great way to begin the year. Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a member of the group to come to the meetings.

It will be a busy week — our first meeting on Wednesday, then on Friday it’s the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society Annual Fall Bulb and Plant Sale, Friday, September 21 from 9:30 a.m. till 5 p.m. at the Parkland Mall in Yorkton. If you want to replace, restock, or rejuvenate your garden, this sale offers you the perfect chance to find some interesting new plants for your collection! Gardeners will be on hand to answer your questions or offer some plant suggestions.  Planting now still gives plants lots of time to get settled in before winter.  Everyone is welcome!

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Sit down for a quick cup of tea with me, and I’ll share some other information I read about in Jim and Lois Hole’s wonderful book “Bedding Plants: Practical Advice and the Science Behind It”. I know some gardeners have mentioned taking cuttings of petunias in the fall; some have success with this project.  Have you ever tried it? It was new to me, but there was actually a question in the book about this very thing.

Lois and Jim each had comments about this experiment. Lois’ comments were that she wouldn’t recommend it because the low light, dry air and warm temperatures in our homes would not be good for the petunias. Jim’s comments said that home conditions in general were not suited to overwintering many plants. He said that while our average light conditions were bright enough for overwintering plants like geraniums, they would not be bright enough for many plant cuttings.

Conditions in our homes in the winter would cause the plants to use up their plant energy without proper conditions to replenish it. And there is the possibility of bringing in plant diseases.

Mandevilla vines were also another plant mentioned. These beautiful plants find it hard to adjust from the bright light of being outside in the summer to the lower light of our homes in the winter. If you have previously brought in your mandevilla and it started to lose its leaves and didn’t bloom, you are not doing anything wrong!  The poor plant just can’t adapt that easily to the move. The advice in the Hole book is to find a spot for the mandevilla that offers cool temperatures and a bright window, facing south if possible. In the spring, cut it back, give it a spring-tonic of some fertilizer, and it will be on its way to a healthy new start!

If you collect garden books for your own reference library, this one is definitely one to add to your collection. Miss Lois was such an amazing plants person, so knowledgeable and down-to-earth, with a real feel for plants and how to encourage them to do the best they can for us.  I’m sure she is missed by the Canadian gardening community! I have several of her books in my collection and I refer to them often. They are wonderful!

Looking for veggies?  The season is not over yet! Remember that you can find locally-grown produce at the Yorkton Gardeners’ Market, every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. till noon at Melrose and Simpson streets in Yorkton (north parking lot of the Prairie Harvest Christian Life Centre).   To register as a seller, call Glen at (306) 783-7040.

Visit us at and enjoy your week in the garden!

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