…it's a passionate obsession.

Archive for March, 2013

Growing lobelia – a method I like to use

Since I can’t get out and about. I thought I’d share my way of dealing with lobelia seeds. I often read the problems associated with lobelia, yet I find it one of the easiest to grow. Having said that, many of my methods were learnt through trial and error. 

lobelia

1. Surface sow the seed onto moist compost in 4 or 5 rows and mist to adhere to seed to the compost. Here I’ve used the half size seed trays but you can use any size you wish.  Put into a carrier bag and using the handles, loosely tie so as not to let any moisture escape. Put into a warm light room/greenhouse and check at least once a day. Water using a fine spray bottle. Once germination has started remove from bag and position in a bright place, away from direct sunlight – direct sun will burn young seedlings.

lebelia 1
2. The seedlings should look something like this after a few weeks.

lobelia 3

3. When the seedlings reach this size they’re ready to be split and put into individual pots/modules.

lobelia 5

4. Using a ruler for example, run it along the edge and underneath – very similar to loosening a cake from its tin.

lobelia 6

5. Using the ruler, use it to cut each row.


6. It should look like this once it is separated.


 7. I find the ruler comes in handy when lifting from the tray.

lobelia9
8. Gently split into little clumps – they are very robust, so do not worry.

lobelai10
9. And pot on, into cells.

lobelia 11
10. Then finally water from below – here a poundshop cat litter tray does the bizz………and transfer to a warm greenhouse for them to grow on.

After a few weeks the roots should have took and the plant will have grown in size. This is the time to transfer the trays to a non heated place until its time for hardening off, which usually lasts for 2 weeks. Once the risk of frosts and nasty weather has passed they’ll be ready for planting in your favorite places. And don’t forget, for great displays feed regularly – just like us, they need food to maintain their looks throughout the season.

So, if you fancy giving Lobelia a go – this is a great method and one which works for me. Happy gardening. 🙂


Waiting for the sun…

Usually, the Easter weekend signals all things potatoes and garden centres. However, this year is different – it is snowing but only just…here in the Northeast, thank goodness. The same can’t be said for other parts of the country who have been shivering under a white blanket of the stuff all week. Thinking back to this time last year, we were in the grips of a mini heatwave with many of us basking under its rays down the local parks with the kids. Lovely it was !!

Sadly it proved to be the only bit heat to hit our shores in 2012 and the rest of the Spring and Summer was spent under a umbrella sporting an essential bit of kit; wellies.

I’m hoping this year will be different and this extended cold weather, which has been predicted to last for many more weeks yet, turns out to be a good omen for the coming summer. Long and hot. Oooh, what a thought !!

The potatoes I’ve chosen to grow this year are Rooster ( main crop). A versatile all-rounder which grow and cooks well, whether its mashed, boiled, steamed or baked.

So in the meantime, I’ll continue to nurse my cold with a beechams lemon and plot the season to come. Then hopefully in a few days I’ll be feeling well enough for a trip to my local garden centre to check the range of plants they have in stock.

I can’t wait.

beechams

Enjoy your Easter Weekend, whatever the weather.


I’ll be back !

It’s been a crazy 6 months or so and I’ve not had much spare time. Anyway it’s a new year, new season and I’m keener than ever to get started.

Checkout my 12 new babies they arrived a week or so ago as bare-root specimens and look at them now – unfurling and straightening out.

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