Sunday 21 April 2013

Cleaning, organising and propagating

Mon 8th April
Weather: Finally warmer again today. Sunshine.

Roots like the juicy white one at the bottom is ideal. 

Repotted some Phlox 'Admiral white', as these are stock that has not been sold yet since last year, some of them are burgeoning the pots and ideal for splitting and making into new plants. I also took root cuttings of these, I take the thickest & whitest (most vigourous) ones and place them flat on a bed of cutting compost in a box. Then I gently cover them with grit. Phloxes propagate easily from soft cuttings, but the trouble with phloxes are that they are very prone to eel worm, but eel worms don't attack the plant basally, so it's safer for them to be reproduced this way. Also this allows me to do them en masse. It will take about two years for me to get a decent flowering plant.

Phlox root cuttings

There is always a balance between planting firmly and not compacting the soil as much as possible, especially for things that are sitting around a bit longer, so it allows for good drainage. Below is a good example of a worm hole filled uncompacted soil.

I had to discard a whole load of Carex testaceaCyperus vegetus that didn't survive the winter. Carex are usually hardy but we were trialling these and will investigate more into it. The Cyperus if in the ground would have survived, but in pots the cold was able to get to their root balls too easily.

Tues 9th
Weather: Going up to 7°C. Rainy and cloudy for most of the day.
Pricked out some Carthamus nemo seedlings. I had some Phlox 'Duchess of York' which I did the same for as above.

Weds 10th
Weather: Around 9°C.
Organised frame spaces, cleared and regritted areas, cleaned up some Verbascum olympicum, repotted and split some Geranium sylvaticum 'Mayflower'.

Thurs 11th
Weather: Around 11°C. Changeable.
Separated out a mass of Acaena novae-zelandiae that had grown into in each other and then made new plants out of stems that had rooted. Cleaned up pots of Helianthemum 'White Bride', weeding and giving pots a fresh dressing of soil if necessary.

Fri 12th
Weather: Still quite sporadic, windy, bits of rain, sun.
I shown how to print out labels, so I labelled and did more reorganising of plants, handling Ceanothus 'Puget's Blue', Achillea 'Lucky Break', Aconitum orendsii, Thalictrum Elin and Ballot pseudodictamnus. 

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