Plympton Gardeners Association

April News

It was a case of 'two for the price of one' at Plympton Gardeners April meeting, when members had the benefit of the knowledge of two speakers on the theme of 'Growing for Showing'.

Dave Wickstead gave advice on growing stump carrots and potatoes for entering into horticultural shows. Dr. Keith Clapton followed this with a talk about the history and cultivation of sweet peas. He had started off pots of sweet pea 'Gwendoline' to give to members, to encourage entries at the Plympton Annual Show in August. He also announced a competition between members to be held at the June meeting of the PGA.

The chairman, John Gilding, stated that, this year, the National Vegetable Society plaque would be awarded at the August Show
for 5 globe beetroots and he encouraged members to sow seeds now. John also put out a request for plants to sell at Plympton's May Fair on 11th May.

There was a good display of flowers on the monthly competition tables, with Chris Bishop taking first place with some daffodils. Sally Luscombe won both the vegetable and craft prizes with swiss chard and some colourful weaving.

The next meeting of Plympton Gardeners will be on Thursday 2nd May at 7:30 at Harewood house when the speaker will be Martin Stott from Saltram.

Jobs to do in April

Fruit and vegetables

Sow indoors: runner beans, dwarf beans, herbs, marrows, pumpkins and sweet corn.
Sow oudoors: early potatoes, beetroot.
Top dress with fish blood and bone all beds for peas, beans, lettuce and strawberries.


Top dress all beds with fish, blood & bone.
Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials.
Plant out autumn sown sweet peas.
Prune penstemons, cutting down old foliage.
Plant summer flowering bulbs.
Put supports around perennials.
Deadhead spring bedding plants.

                                                                                                February News

Rupert Baker was a welcome return visitor to the Plympton Gardeners Association February meeting. He gave a wide ranging, illustrated talk on All Aspects of Trees. The level of interest generated in his audience could be gauged by the many questions asked by members afterwards.

Rupert covered how trees have been used by people over millennia and how this has influenced growth and habitats. He showed some interesting photos of the developments in the technology used to harvest and process timber over the years. He covered the various ways in which trees are being attacked and threatened in the 21st century and was able to suggest some replacement species for diseased trees that have had to be removed.

Members were reminded that the annual daffodil competition will be held at the March meeting and that the Spring Show is on 23rd March at Harewood House. This is open to non members and schedules can be obtained from the Show Secretary, Paul Hutchins, tel. 07974406179.

Spring flowers were much in evidence in the monthly competition for flowers. Keith Clapton was the overall winner with a single bloom of Camellia Japonica 'Desire'. Sally Luscombe swept the board with wins in the vegetable, art and needlecraft competitions. The next meeting of the PGA will be held on Thursday March 7th at Harewood House at 7:30pm when the speaker, Caroline Stone, will be talking about Daffodils.

                                                                                         Jobs to do in February

Fruit and Vegetables

Sow indoors: cauliflower, onions, leeks, melons, lettuce, summer cabbage, sprouts, tomatoes.
Sow outdoors: broad beans.
Plant shallots and garlic.
Top dress rhubarb with compost/manure.
Top dress beds for onions, carrots, peas and parsnips with fish, blood & bone.
Place cloches or fleece on carrot & parsnip beds.
Obtain seed potatoes for sprouting indoors.


Keep deadheading winter flowering pansies and other winter bedding.
Sow summer bedding plants in a heated propagator.
Pot up any cuttings of tender perennials taken last yea













                                                              A new service for members from January 2014

Members who cannot get to the trading hut but wish to purchase garden supplies can now email Dave Wickstead (at  to place an order, which can then be collected at the next meeting.




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