March 2014 – Practical demonstration oif Pruning/Graeme Proctor

Now is the time to prune apple trees but not plum trees! This was just one piece of advice given at our March meeting. Plum trees (and other trees bearing fruits with stones e.g. plums and apricots) should be pruned immediately after the fruit has been picked. Our speaker, Graeme Proctor, works at Crown Nursery in Ufford, Suffolk which specialises in growing all sorts of trees – those native to this country, ornamental trees and fruit trees. The title of his talk was ‘A practical demonstration of pruning’ and Graeme brought some examples of somewhat straggly trees and shrubs that he deftly ‘cut out’ and ‘snipped back’ resulting in well-shaped specimens, pruned to produce good, healthy crops of fruit or flowers. It all looked very straight forward and he certainly inspired us to tackle the necessary pruning jobs in our gardens. It was lucky the following weekend was fair and warm so we could put into practice what we had learned. The most important thing he told us was to use a good, sharp pair of secateurs. Also important, especially this year, is to feed and mulch, as all the rain has leached a lot of nutrients from the soil.

The speaker at our next meeting – to be held on 3 April at 7.45pm at Thriplow Village Hall – is Peter Jackson from Scotsdales who will talk about annual plants. Visitors are welcome.

A date for your diary! The date for this year’s gardening club show is 20 September at Fowlmere Village Hall. We were not able to hold a show last year, so are hoping this year’s will be a big success with more entries than ever. The show schedules will be available soon. We are introducing a new class called Men’s Challenge! This will be for 3 decorated cup cakes and the winner will receive a ‘surprise prize’ so – get practicing chaps!

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