Burnett: Plan for more frost but book spring UK garden tour

I’ve potted up any non-winter hardy plant worth saving so I have the option of taking them indoors when frost is expected.

Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Garden Show.

Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Garden Show.

We experienced our first frost Oct. 11 which is pretty much normal, although I’ve seen years when it is well into November when that first snap happens.

This year’s wasn’t severe, however it was enough to seriously damage my beautiful Mimosa plant which I planned on putting under the grow lamp for the winter. The damage may be only superficial and it may bud out again so it’s not in the Green Bin yet.

Another plant that got scalded by the frost that night is my banana. I will dig that one up and put it in a pot for the winter because the root should be fine.

I’ve now potted up any non-winter hardy plant in the garden worth saving so I have the option of taking them indoors when frost is expected. Included are plants like my tropical Hibiscus, a variegated rubber plant and, just for fun, a pepper plant.

I must say I’m still enjoying the garden during this lovely fall weather. I harvested my first ever crop of Brussels sprouts and even though they were only the size of marbles they sure were tasty.

I’m not sure what I’ll do next year to make them size up; perhaps some super phosphate for starters.

We got another feed of green beans but I think that will be the last of the year.

I dug out my Amaryllis bulb and I discovered it has sprouted a little bulblet which I will separate next year when it goes back in the garden. Now it just needs a little rest and then I will pot it up and place it under my grow light; this will now be the fourth Christmas we will have an amaryllis blooming on the table which demonstrates just how much value we get out of one of these bulbs; I expect to have it for years to come.

It is incredible how much the damage from the Spotted Winged Drosophila has waned this year. Commonly known as the vinegar fly, this pest wiped out my Kiwi crop two years in a row, but not this year. I’ve seen no damage on my crop so far this fall and I’m delighted but curious as to why.

I’m hoping nature has provided the control; perhaps a disease has wiped them out or possibly that cold snap in early January last winter was timed perfectly.

All I know is it went from total devastation to perfectly clean in just one season.

According to our provincial entomologist Susanna Acheampong the numbers were definitely down in the monitoring traps this past spring, however the numbers got quite a bit higher late in the season. One reason for this may be the cool wet spring weather we had. She told me there is a lot of study being performed on this pest and she is hopeful in due time a solution can be found to ease the pressure on cherry and other soft fruit and berry growers.


UK garden tour

Don’t forget even though our planned trip to the UK to tour the famous gardens of England and Scotland is not until May 2017 you must book now to get a seat on the plane.

This trip is so popular that Marlin Travel has reserved seats on the plane and tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show which they will have to release after Dec. 12.

Ticket price includes airfare, hotel accommodation with breakfast every morning, an evening river cruise on the Thames, entry into over six world class botanical gardens, entry into historical sites such as Edinburgh Castle, our own tour guide for both London and Edinburgh and of course VIP entry into the number one flower show in the world, Chelsea and more.

Call Gail Fritsen at Marlin Travel Kelowna at 250-868-2540 or send Gail an email.