Plants for Free!
Most shrubs in the garden are producing plenty of fresh, young shoots now and these are perfect for making softwood cuttings.
Take a few shoots from the side of the shrub, where it won’t show; take more than you think you will need because they probably won’t all take.
Cut shoots about 10 cm long from the plant just above a bud or leaf then pop into a plastic bag to stop them wilting.
When you are ready, trim the cuttings below a leaf joint with a sharp knife and remove the lower leaves, leaving them about 5cm long.
Using gloves, pop them in a fungicide solution then dip the cut ends into a hormone rooting powder.
Put the cut ends of the cuttings into a pot of 50:50 mix of peat free compost and vermiculite.
Cover the pot with polythene and make sure that it’s held off the foliage of the cuttings. Use short sticks to hold it if necessary (old ice lolly sticks will do!).
Place the pots in a shady area for 6-8 weeks, by which time they should have rooted and can be grown on.
New plants for free!😀
Buying perennials can be expensive so it’s worth having a go at growing them yourself – and very rewarding!
The word perennial means plants which flower reliably every year, usually growing in size each time. The stems die back over winter but the roots don’t, so the plant will regenerate the following year.
Achilleas, alstroemerias and hardy geraniums are examples of perennials that are easy to grow outside from seed at this time of the year.
You can either grow them in pots or straight into the ground.
Make sure you keep them well watered and after a few weeks, the little seedlings should appear ready for growing on into larger pots.