Planting up tubs and jobs for the gardenSaturday 21st October 2023
This autumn has been perfect to be out in the garden with lovely warm sunny days. Earlier this month I planted up the Plant Centre tubs, choosing Crocus, Muscari, Narcissus and Tulips overplanted with Pansies which immediately gave colour. I have chosen to plant one pot with Melcourt peat-free Sylvagrow (nearest the wall) and the other Humax multipurpose peat-reduced compost so we can all see what happens. It is so exciting as the bulbs are already starting to grow and the tubs already give me pleasure.
On the strength of the above I planted out my other tubs this weekend, with the usual Taylors bulbs Blue Shades Collection in each of my six pots and a different compost, topped with viola. I had one extra pot and have planted this up with Crocus, Narcissus and Tulip and cannot wait until the spring.
The results of my summer bedding in all the variety of composts were disappointing and I think the secret is to feed regularly. The Humax original performed the best, followed by Humax peat-reduced and then the Melcourt Sylvagrow peat-free. The Tree and Shrub compost (Levington), Ericaceous peat-free and wool compost were very disappointing. All the pots became very tired by August so next year I shall trial the same but add food in equal quantities to all pots on a regular basis. The main challenge at the moment is that each batch of peat-free and peat-reduced compost is different from the last so what performed well last year is different from this year.
Rupert has been busy planting bulbs within the garden. Over the years we trial a few and, if they take off, plant in larger blocks. Yesterday afternoon he was out planting Cyclamen hederifolium. These have successfully seeded through the garden and their iced gem white to dark pink flowers always give pleasure in late summer. We are now enjoying the different leaf shades of grey and green and plant a selection especially for their leaves. These grow well in deep shade on dry soil under trees.
It’s now time to bring in tender plants, having lost all my Pelargoniums and Echium last winter I have already brought my Pelargoniums in (I will take cuttings in the next week) as well as my tender Hibiscus. My Echiums are now about 4ft tall in the ground and I shall keep an eye on the weather and, if necessary, make a cage to cover them if it is going to get very cold. Our other tender plants will have to take what weather throws at them. We were lucky last year as most came back even if not straight away; our Salvia have flowered profusely all through the late summer. We can keep our ‘Hot Tunnel’ to just above freezing which works well for the nursery but if you have a greenhouse a good substitute is a small heater timed with a thermostat.
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