Thursday, 5 April 2018

greenhouse gardening

Two of individual pots of salvia seedlings were completely blank this afternoon, with not even the shriveled remains of their little leaves to show me that they had failed to survive the shock of being transplanted.  Something must have eaten them.  I put more blue pellets over the remaining pots, while thinking that if they carried on being such snail magnets compared to everything else in the greenhouse then they were not going to do very well in the open garden.  Although perhaps it was mice.  There were a few slime traces, but not as many as I'd have expected from a concerted snail attack.

I pricked out the remaining tomato seedlings, burying as much of their stems as would fit in the pots.  The idea is that they form extra roots from the buried stems, besides making stockier plants.  Then I pricked out the pot of Silene alba seedlings, which yielded two full modular divided trays' worth of plants.  In a sudden fit of suspicion I put a few slug pellets around the trays as well.  Silene alba is our native white campion.  It grows naturally in this area along the hedgerows and verges, and there is some in the garden but not so much as I should like.  I thought I could easily fit in quite a lot of plants along the side of the wood.

Two more of the small hellebores that I bought as plugs and was growing on had died.  I got them as an experiment, because they were so cheap per plant and I wanted a lot of hellebores to go along the side of the wood, but some of the plugs were tiny, and really needed more individual attention and finely judged watering than I managed to give them.  Twelve Nunns sell bigger plugs of their Harvington Hellebores that are ready to pot into one litre pots, and they might be a better bet.  They raise lovely plants.  I have bought them in two litre pots ready to be planted out into the garden from the Chatto nursery.  Enough of the baby Hayloft plants survived for me to feel the exercise was not a total waste, but it depresses me when bought plants die, even when they were individually cheap.

A couple of the cuttings I took at the garden club's propagating evening have struck.  I took quite a few cuttings in total, but we were only given one pot each so they had to share.  Somewhere among my filing is the piece of paper where I wrote down all their names, so I will need to play the game of matching names to the survivors.  One looks like a fuchsia and the other a salvia, but I've a feeling I tried a couple of different salvias.  A third cutting has roots but no leaves as yet, so I will have to see if leaves follow in due course, or if it has given up.  The others were weeded out over the course of the winter as they became obviously dead, and in some cases mouldy.

There are a few more pots to tidy up in the greenhouse, and more than a few still scattered around the concrete, and then I really need to get back to the borders, now that they are starting to dry out, but first I need to make my last sowing of ornamentals, so that they can get on with germinating while I spread Strulch.  There are still Cosmos, Zinnia and castor oil plant to go.  There's no point in sowing them too early, because they end up sitting around for too long in their small pots in the greenhouse, and anyway until I'd moved the tomatoes out the heated propagator was full.

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