Friday, 14 September 2007

Another Thing That I Wanted to Know How to Do

For a long time I have always wanted to know how to 'prick out' seedlings. These little tackers above are Dianthus sp. (carnations). In the past I have hastily planted out seeds in situ, had masses come up and been too soft hearted to thin then so then all of them die. Now, with my new found skill I can plant x number of seeds in a tray, of seed raising mix, and then a week to a fortnight later prick them out and pot them in their final pot before they go in the ground or wherever.

This is the size of them. It was a great thing to do and transplanting them took no time at all.

Here they are in the final pot. They have just been transplanted and are a bit weepy, however once the roots get a grip they will be standing tall. I've already lined up some willing recipients for most of them. That day I did 112 Dianthus and 16 Bonnet Chillies. 2/3s of the sweeties here LOVE chilli so those plants are staying at home.

Yesterday I learnt how to prune roses using the sock method. All will be revealed at the end of the weekend as I still have two roses to go and much weeding. The rose pruning pile at this stage is at my shoulder. I can't remember when I last pruned the roses, 2 maybe 3 years ago so something needed to be done. All the roses smell and some were given to us after Nina died. I won't be buying anymore roses, just a small collection is great.

Yesterday was also the day when we learnt to care for our pruning tools. I realised also yesterday that my secateurs are good for cutting lavender stems and that is it. However I came home and cleaned and sharpened the loppers, hedge trimmers and the oiled and tarted up the pruning saw. They work much better now and so they should as they have never been looked after.

This course has been great for me and subsequently for my family, as they are getting a happy wife and mother and a garden that they like. I find that it works best for me if I quilt Monday through to Wednesday and Friday as well, with all day doing gardening things on Thursday. I go to Tech. in the morning and then hit the ground running after lunch at home and practice what I learnt that morning. Saturday and Sunday is for Family and more gardening. The gardening will ease off as it gets hotter. No planting takes place in summer, it's too hot, it is a matter of mulching and keep the plants moist.