As the poet Keats said, “It is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”which means it is time for seedlings, cuttings and new plantings . All of this exciting activity can be found in this post ; what’s not to like lets get gardening
11th October 2021. Things I have been doing lately:
Collecting the Persimmon harvest. The Persimmon or Caqui as the Spanish call it is a lovely soft and very sweet fruit which looks much like a large tomato when it is ripe. This is my last fruit of the season and is well worth waiting for. When it is ripe you can just cut the top off the fruit and then using a small spoon you can eat as if you were eating a yoghurt from a pot.
I would highly recommend getting a Persimmon tree. it is easy to grow doesn’t get too big and a new tree can be planted out anytime between now and the end of January. When the tree is fruiting you will need to net it as the bright red colouring of the fruit as it ripens signals dinner time to the birds. When you harvest the fruit you need to ensure that you snip it off leaving some stem still attached. You can use the fruit directly from the tree in a manner of ways. served individually as a pudding, spooned out into your cereal or porridge, or just eat it as a snack.
The photos below show the netted Persimmon tree safe from birds, being harvested with stalk attached and finally ready to eat. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Harvesting seedlings. Regular readers of this blog will remember that I removed all of the Osteospermums from my flower beds a couple of months ago. I did this because they get woody and leggy after a long Spring/Summer of flowering, but also safe in the knowledge that they would have set seed. By removing the parent plants I let in air and moisture to the seedlings confident that they would soon show up. Well the photo below shows that they didn’t let me down.
Once the seedlings look big enough to prick out then there are a few simple stages before you get your nice new plants:
- First prepare a nice free draining compost by mixing a good amount of Perlite into your compost.
- Fill plug trays with your nice compost making sure to tamp it down to remove air pockets, but not so much that you compact the compost.
- Thoroughly water and drain the plug trays then using your dibber make a nice wide hole so that you can get all the roots in
Each of the above stages are shown in the photos below. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Now the preparation is over, it is time to go get your new plants.
- Using your trowel slide it under a group of seedlings and ease them to the surface. Take care not to damage their delicate roots.
- Gently separate the seedlings and begin to pick out those with the most leaves and the best roots.
- Holding the seedlings only by the leaves, gently lower them into your pre-prepared holes pushing their roots into place with a pencil and cover them.
- Finally stand back and admire the fact that you now have 96 new free plants.
Taking late summer cuttings. Now is an ideal time to take a few late summer cuttings. And if they take then great, but if they don’t you have lost nothing. I don’t normally grow geraniums and pelargoniums because of the dreaded geranium moth. But I grew some this Summer and sprayed them regularly and they were ok, so I have decided to take some cuttings. The photo below shows my plants ready to be reshaped for winter and to provide me with my cuttings.
The first thing to do is to search down into the plant and look for a non flowering stem that has not gone woody. Geraniums stems will turn woody quite quickly, but you are looking for the succulent still green stem. Cut of the stem and then cut off all the leaves on the stem leaving only a couple at the top. Next dip your cut and prepared stem into some hormone rooting liquid before planting against the edge of a four inch pot. You can plant two cuttings to each pot. Finally place a cane at the centre of your pot and place the pot into a plastic bag. Blow the bag up with your breath so it is full of nice carbon dioxide and then tie at the top with twine. This neat little wigwam will stop your cutting drying out over the next few weeks. You can use this method to take soft wood cuttings over the next month. The photos below show the process. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Planting Golden Pothos. Before I went on my recent trip to the UK to see our idiot son. I put some Golden Pothos cuttings in a glass of water to see if I could grow them on. Regular readers will remember that I have a Golden Pothos on my Naya that I grandly wish to grow around a mirror. I had attempted planting cuttings straight into the pot but they failed, so I thought this method might work. I am pleasd to say that they produced good roots and are now planted in the main pot to supplement the mother plant.
The photos below shows the new roots in all their glory, and finally planted in with the mother plant. Click on each photo for a larger view.
Cruella is growing a puppy. When I told Cruella (my wife) all about the seedlings and cuttings that I had taken to make new plants, and explained to her the process, she feigned her normal disinterest. However, despite her show of indifference I could see that she was somewhat interested; I can always tell because the wart on the end of her nose glows and makes her look like an evil Rudolf the red nosed reindeer.
Anyway a few hours later I found her furiously brushing Tango our blind Labrador, or as we now call him “last of the Labradors”. When I enquired what she was doing she informed me that she would use the hair brushed from Tango to grow him a new companion. When I complained that she was being stupid, she said it is either that or she would raise Nero (our recently deceased Labrador) from the dead! The photo below shows Cruella and Tango together with her potting material.