Spring planting Week 16

Spring planting

Spring planting
The last two weeks have mostly been put to use in clearing and tidying. That took care of the jobs that either the cold or water in the soil prevented.

That has involved some hard landscaping, replacing a slippery path with something more stable, cutting and edging lawns. I have also been potting on plants grown from seed and cuttings. And setting out Dahlias to start sprouting in the greenhouse.

Spring planting
These alpines were in need of tidying and redressing. Now they’re ready to go out.

And the beds have have a good clear out too, with the last of the winter structure removed. That included any detritus that had been previously left as protection. I also used the opportunity to remove some of the very invasive bluebells that can colonise the front of borders. Finally another mulch of rough garden compost and its ready to start growing. Some of it’s off to  a great start.

Spring planting
Two weeks after splitting the Delphiniums are growing stronger than ever

A late spring?

This year seems to be about 3 weeks later than last year after the warm early spring we had in 2015. That always leads to an anxiety about where certain plants are, have they appeared yet, will they appear?

The obvious things so far missing are Heleniums – three differerent ones not so far seen – a couple of Echinaceas, and Achillea and all the Hostas. I went to an open garden in Cookham on Sunday and the Hostas  where all showing nicely.

The cold blast due this week will certainly slow progress down a bit more. So those plants potted and ready to go out will have to wait a week or more than expected before they can be planted.

The main flower border is not looking too bad though so far.

Spring planting
This south and east facing bed is the first to show colour

Spring planting Dahlias

I have some greenhouse borders that are spare before tomatoes are due to go in. These will be used for the Dahlia tubers, laid out and gently watered to stir them into life. That way I can see what is growing before setting them in beds or pots; nothing worse than carefully planning where to put them and finding nothing grows.

So far about 10 of 80 are shooting, with more showing every day.

Spring planting vegetables

Not too much more on this front, but the broad beans are all out. Peas are planted in between potatoes, and many leaf and salad veg are ready in pots to go out. they too can wait until the cold spell passes.

Dividing perennials

And the process of creating more and better stronger plants goes on. Last weekend a friend came over with a couple of chunky Salvias – not something I’d grown before – so they could be split. They were tough to break, with the carving knife not being man enough I resorted to a spade. She took the main divisions and I kept one, plus all the bits that fell off.

I have planted them in a sharp draining compost and kept in the propagator for a few days. It looks like 90 per cent or so will be good. That’s a good block for the garden beds and some for the Plant swap on May 7th.