23 May 2014

How to Grow Garlic in Pots

Growing garlic in containers is an excellent way of providing your kitchen with one the freshest, and most flavoursome of herbs, especially if you are a little short of space in the garden. Not only is garlic simple to grow, it has also been used throughout history for its medicinal value too.

The best time to plant garlic in containers is mid-October as the cold weather helps to initialize growth that will result in far larger bulbs and a greater number of cloves.

When planting at this time of year you must stick to using specific cultivated varieties such as ‘White Pearl’, 'Albigensian Wight', 'Early Purple Wight', ' Iberian Wight', 'Lautrec Wight' - widely regarded as Frances finest garlic, and Purple Moldovan Wight, all of which are known to suitable for growing our northern climates. Unfortunately, if you try to some of the larger supermarket bulbs they have probably been treated to prevent sprouting and are highly likely to die off in the cold wet weather.

You can plant as late as April although your ‘crop’ won’t be as big, although at this warmer time of year you can try planting up any spare cloves left over from a supermarket bought garlic. Start by dividing the cloves of garlic from the bulb and then setting the largest and healthiest looking cloves aside for planting.
Fill a deep container - with a circumference of at least 6 inches - with John Innes ‘Seed and potting compost’. The depth is important here as although garlic is now a highly cultivated plant – its wild ancestors would have originate from the mountainous regions of Asia. In this environment their fine roots were programmed to search for water far deeper than other similar plants, a natural result evolved to ensure their survival in these harsh conditions. Plant one clove per pot in an upright position, no more than 1 ½ inch below the soil surface - the bottom of the clove is identified by its flattened, slightly concave end.

Water the pots well and place them outside in a sunny position, and if you are planting up before winter, try and keep the pots out of the way of cold winds. From early-June onwards, begin feeding with a general purpose plant food every two weeks.

Your garlic should be ready for harvesting any time between August to September depending on both the weather and individual varieties. The problem with harvesting garlic is knowing when they are ripe in order to lift them. Harvest them too early and the bulbs will be too small, but harvest too late and the bulbs will begin to loose their quality, and so a more accurate method is needed to determine whether or not the garlic is ready to harvested. If the weather is wet in early August, pull up a single bulb and see how many sheaths (the thin papery layers that surround the bulb) you can peel off the bulb, if the answer is three then the bulb is ready to be lifted. If you can remove four or more layers then it is best to wait another couple of weeks or at least until most of the leaves have turned brown.

When harvesting garlic bulbs, gently ease them out of the ground using a trowel to loosen the surrounding soil, taking care not to bruise them as they will then not keep for long. Once lifted,
most of the bulbs can be washed and dried, and then placed into a warm dry part of the garden dry out, however if rain is forecast then they will need to be brought indoors. Once dried off, these bulbs should now keep in good condition for between 3-4 months.

7 May 2014

How to Propagate lavender from Cuttings

Getting clippings from rose is amazingly very easy provided that you take them at the right season. Fortunately you will get two attacks of the cherry regarding this as you can take rose clippings either in the springtime - just before the plant comes into plant, or in the fall around aug time.

Lavender has been spread by clippings for centuries so I will keep the technique 'old school' because I know this way works. Using 3 inch clay containers, complete with a high quality rich compost such as David Innes 'Seed  and Cutting' or you can create your own by mix approximately 3 parts peat moss moss with 1 part gardening resolution or vermiculite. The most essential thing here is that the rich compost is well cleared. Reduce the combination then stick a little opening about 1 to 1½ inches wide strong into the floor  into which you will plant your 'freshly -cut' clippings.

How to take a rose cutting.

Taking a reducing from a proper and balanced older rose plant will not damage it, and besides - it will need to be cut back hard at the end of summer anyway to motivate strong healthier growth in the springtime. Using a sharp, sterilised blade or secateurs, cut a little division off the lower 50 percent of the plant that is about 3-5 inches wide lengthy. Ensure that that the division is soft and not woodsy. Remove the bottom 50 percent of the reducing of results in, place in the opening in floor that you prepared earlier then close the opening with floor. There is no need to use cheering testosterone on rose reducing, but no damage will be done if you are dependent to using it.

Water your new plant thoroughly after growing. For the first few several weeks keep the floor wet, but then water less frequently. At this point water when the floor starts to get dry, but before the plant shows any problems. Too much water will destroy your new rose plant. When attempting to distribute rose, this is the most common error.

After about 6 several weeks you can move your new rose plant to a larger pot or into the floor. If growing rose in the floor, dig the opening about 1 ft wide and about 8 inches wide (20 cm) strong. Prepare the floor by combining sand, peat moss moss or rich compost, and your local floor. It's most essential that the floor strain very well. Fill the opening far enough with your floor combination that the plant will be at the proper level when the opening is filled the rest of the way. Before filling add a tsp. full of bone meal or another slow launch manure. After eliminating the plant from the little pot, add a bit of main activator on the origins, then cover with floor.