I was thrilled to get soaking wet on Friday morning as I dragged the trolley through the jungle of plants dripping with the rain that fell overnight. Saving me a hand watering job this weekend. Instead I can get on with ...
Jobs for the Weekend -
Soak & plant ranunculus
Clear spent plants for planting
Sow green manures
1. Ranunculus are my of our star plants here - their complex colours and soft billowing petals are utterly enchanting come the spring. You can read much more about these plants in a blog I wrote a few years ago, but for the moment, it’s all about getting them started.
Right now, I have trays and trays of them dried waiting to be woken up. To do this, I soak the corms until they are plump and press them into compost to presrout; sending out little roots and green shoots. This way you can monitor and control the growth (or moisture) to assure they sprout rather than rot or shrivel up as they can do if left in the ground.
If you are interested in growing these yourself, I will be selling some of our own corms in a few weeks time so keep an eye on the newsletter or better still, email me to find out first.
2. In preparation for planting out ranunculus, this week Barb and I will be clearing a couple of beds to plant these out together with the rest of the annuals and biennials sown to plant out this autumn. I’m only starting a few now as we will plant more in January and March to extend the flowering season.
3. Where there is space but no plants ready to go out, we’ll sow green manures to cover and feed the soil (rather than leave it open and bare). Green Manures are plants that usually grow very fast and have several benefits for soil health. I am mostly interested in those that help bind together our free draining and loose sandy soil, bringing nutrients to the surface and retaining moisture. The three that are growing really well here are phacelia, mustard and buckwheat. I have only started using these, this year and can already see good things.
Precious corms rehydrated from their summer slumber. Ready to be pressed into compost to sprout before planting out.
Temporary trays of compost for sprouting
Sprouted and ready to plant out in final positions - pots, border or plot
I'm still enchanted by these beauties.