It has been a month since the Galston District Garden Clubs last meeting and during that time the Executive decided to postpone the April meeting. We did think our last supper of wrapped biscuits instead of our usual sticky bun slices might have been a good reason to cancel the next meeting. Then came the announcement from the Prime Minister that all large gatherings would cease due to the Covid-19 until further notice.

Not letting this Virus get the better of us, the Club has begun a Facebook page to keep in touch with its members. It was a suggestion from Anita that set the Executive into action. There is always something changing in our gardens and posting photographs and comments is a wonderful way to lift our spirits. The members have picked up the challenge and run with it. Many post with wonderful colour.

Summer has been and gone, and we say hello to autumn when the leaves begin to develop those signature tints. The start of the new season might have you wondering ‘what jobs should I be looking to tick off at home?

Autumn is an ideal time of year to plant, particularly trees, shrubs and perennials because air temperatures have cooled, soil is still warm and you have had some rainfall to increase soil moisture. When the soils warm and moist, new plantings will establish good root growth before slowing down in winter.

You will see benefits again in early spring, when the plants you planted in autumn have had time to establish and show wonderful new growth ahead of the next summer’s heat.

Autumn is also a good time to begin transplanting shrubs or trees, and to make new plant from cuttings.

Take 10-centimetre cuttings from hardwood herbs such as rosemary and bay or natives such as banksias, grevillea and coastal rosemary. Remove the lower leaves, dip cuttings into the appropriate hardwood hormone powder and pot them in small containers of free-draining potting mix.

Keep the cuttings just moist and shelter them from the direct sun and out of the wind – you could use a plastic bag supported by wire. By spring, you should have rooted cuttings ready to pot up. Another job would be to fertilise your garden choosing a wellbalanced fertiliser – one that has equal ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and contains calcium. This will encourage plant cells to thicken making your plants more resilient to fungus and disease during the cold and wet of winter. Use Bush Tucker for your natives. Enjoy the Autumn.

Until further notice, our Club meetings have been cancelled. We will keep our members and the community notified regarding a date for the next meeting. New members and visitors are welcome. We are an informal and friendly group and no matter what your gardening ability or knowledge, you can be sure that you can look forward to pleasant company.

Each year in October we hold the GALSTON DISTRICT OPEN GARDEN WEEKEND to fundraise for local community projects and charities. Unfortunately, due to the current situation with the COVID-19 and not knowing when restrictions will be lifted, the Executive have cancelled this year’s Open.

Under normal circumstances, the Garden Club meets on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Galston Community Centre, 37 Arcadia Rd., Galston, 7.00 pm.

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