Great to be taking our first batch of cuttings in 2018 here at Cramden nursery.
These little beauties will be ready for potting up in 4-5 weeks time, they will go into 2litre pots and will be ready for the sales benches by the beginning of May.
Yesterday we were taking our ‘Candy Flowers’ range of Decorative Pelargoniums, our firm favourite here on the nursery is ‘Violet’, such rich pretty flowers. Her flowers remind us of an old variety we used to grow “Ashby”. ‘Violet’ is a more compact plant with a lovely bushy growth habit, perfect for pots and container growing. She gets a lot of attention here from all our customers.
Summer colour begins here for your borders, pots & hanging baskets.
One of the most popular groups of summer bedding and pot plants are Pelargoniums, you may know them as Geraniums. They take the form of either upright or trailing varieties. With their bright colourful blooms, that will be produced all summer long and well into the autumn, you can understand why they are one of gardener’s favorites for summer colour.
Here at Cramden Nursery we grow over 40,000 Pelargoniums each year, with over 50 different varieties to choose from. You’re bound to find the right colour combination for your garden.
A great economical way of filling your garden with colour is to start off with young plants or ‘plugs’ as we call them. You will need somewhere to grow them on with plenty of light away from the last few frosts of winter and if you can give them some heat too your little plants will sprint away. A greenhouse, a conservatory even a sheltered porch will do.
Our plugs are grown from rooted cuttings. These are cuttings that have been rooted for you in our propagation greenhouse, so the technical bit has already been done. When you are buying rooted cuttings you need to be looking out for nice healthy, fresh white roots.
At this stage they are ready to be potted up but not ready for the outside world just yet. Pelargoniums are tender and will not stand up to the cold night time temps of April. So, whatever you are planning for your plugs, be it for baskets, pots or bedding for the borders it is best to get them planted into pots so they can form good strong healthy root balls before planting out in mid-May.
Choosing the right size of pot for your plugs will depend on how much space you have A 1litre (13cm diameter) pot is a good starting size and this will have enough room for the compost to hold on to plenty of water for your young plant and there will be enough room to grow lots of healthy roots.
The quality of compost you use will reflect in the health of your plants, like they say “you get out what you put in”. The compost after all is where the plants will find all their food they need to get growing.
At this stage there is no need feed to your plants, the potting compost has all it needs already. Your newly potted plants will soon begin to grow new leaves and shoot up for you. Keep up with regular watering to keep them growing, new roots form much more easily in moist compost. As your plants grow they may need spacing to ensure they grow into well branched bushy plants. Keep them inside until the risk of frost is gone.
So, if you’re looking for a colourful range of Pelargoniums then pop into Cramden Nursery to find your young plants this spring. If you have any questions or would like some advice on growing on your ‘plugs’ then just ask a member of staff who are on hand to help.
Happy Planting from Emily and the team at Cramden Nursery
Alongside the new Zonal Pelargoniums(Geraniums) we introduced to you last month we have 3 new varieties this year that are “a little bit different”.
‘Chocolate Girl’ is new to our variegated leaf Pelargonium range. She has rich dark almost chocolate coloured leaves with a green edge to them. As the sun gets stronger and the daylight hours increase the leaves become darker and darker, contrasting beautifully with it’s cherry cola flowers. It is a strong growing variety and will make up into a big plant very quickly.
Two-in-One Peach is a cross between an Ivy Pelargonium and a Zonal Pelargonium. This cross makes excellent ground cover, as it has a bushy well branched growth habit. With it’s single flowers it is excellently weather resistance and low maintenance. It’s pretty peach flowers are really eye catching.
Cassiopeia is another cross between an Ivy Leaf Pelargonium and a Zonal Pelargonium. This variety however produces a more compact and bushy plant. With semi double deep red flowers it produces’ a striking display in pots and borders alike.
Agapanthus originate in South Africa, and out there they grow en masse like weeds on the road sides.
Over here in the Uk it is a different story, they have to survive our cold winters and make do with limited sunshine during our English summers. If treated correctly though they can thrive in our gardens and given a little winter care they can produce stunning displays for us throughout the summer.
The flowers are either white or all the different hues of blue you can imagine through into purples.
You have fresh tall white flowers of: Arctic Star and compact growing Snow Pixie with short flowering stems of white flowers at 40 cm tall, perfect for pots or the front of borders, she flowers well into the Autumn months keeping that summer vibe in the garden.
Then there is Northern Star a rich dark blue flower on 75cm tall flowering stems. This is by far the most popular variety we grow with staff and customers alike. Megan’ s Mauve as the name suggests is a mauve blue flower and has a darker stripe down the centre of each flower petal to add to its wow factor.
Agapanthus can be split into 2 categories; Deciduous and Evergreen.
The deciduous varieties lose their leaves at the end of the summer and are generally hardier than the Evergreen types. Remove the dead leaves and mulch with a little straw and they will sit out the winter quietly in borders or pots.
Evergreen Varieties keep their leaves all year round and tend to need a little more winter protection. They have larger flower heads than the deciduous types and have wider leaves.
They are best grown in pots so you can either move the pots into a cold green house for the winter or move them closer to the house or into a sheltered area of the garden to help them through the winter. When the winter temperatures really begin to plummet and if you have left your Evergreen Agapanthus outside you can give them a little extra protection by making them a windbreak with canes and a little plastic. This will help to keep the worst of the cold weather out and if they forecast very cold weather a handful of straw on top of the foliage will help to insulate the plants further. Just remember to make sure you remove this straw as soon as the weather has warmed up slightly or else it will sit and rot on to the leaves.
Growing Agapanthus in pots is a great way to bring those beautiful big flower heads up on to the patio. Agapanthus like to be “Pot Full” but not “Pot Bound” and there is a fine line between the two.
Once an Agapanthus becomes “Pot Bound” the number of flowers it can produce will dramatically reduce and will eventually come to none. This is because it will have got to the point where all that is in the pot is beautiful white roots, all the compost will have been pushed out, so there is no medium left to hold water or fertiliser for the plant to take up. It is at this point you will need to either re-pot into a bigger pot, or to split it up and pot up into 2 pots. Generally every 2-3 years you should be thinking about re-potting or splitting your Agapanthus.
Feed and watering are important jobs for you to consider when growing Agapanthus in your garden. They require regular watering from early spring to the end of summer, they will use a lot to grow and to produce their flowers. A regular liquid feed of a high potash fertiliser from spring to the end of autumn is also important, this will help flower bud production, for this year and for next year. Even after your plants have finished flowering regular watering and feeding will set the plant and buds up for next summers display. What you do this year for your plants, will show in the next summer. Water as regular as needed and feed once or, even better, twice a week.
Agapanthus like full sun, so find them a sunny spot in the garden so they can make the most of all the sunshine. Even after they have finished flowering they will need as much sun as they can get as this will help them set up their blooms for next summer.
Have a look on our You Tube channel “Geranium tv” to find our short films we have made on how to over winter Agapanthus and on splitting them & re-potting Agapanthus.
We have had a busy week potting up next season Hardy geranium plants.
We use a peat based compost with vermiculite to provide a good open structure for the roots to grow in. Hardy Geraniums are generally easy garden plants to grow, however growing them in 2L pots for sale has provided us with a few challenges. Getting the potting compost right has been a learning process. We think we now have a good mix that keeps the roots happy. And Happy roots means a healthy plant.
Dahlias are not frost hardy and so need to be lifted for the winter months.
Dahlias produce a swollen root system and it is these roots that need to be protected.
Your first job will be to cut back the aerial part of the plant right down to the base of the plant.
Use a garden fork to dig up the whole root system of your Dahlia, here you will find several swollen roots all connected to the base of the plant. You need to keep it all together but you can brush off the old compost from around the roots. If any of the swollen roots come away from the roots system you can discard these as they will not come to anything on their own. However, in the spring when they begin to show signs of new shoots and roots of their own then they can be divided.
For now, your root system needs to be placed in a box or a large enough pot and covered with compost, this compost will prevent the swollen roots from drying out over winter. They now need a place that is frost free for the winter months to survive.
Remember, having got them through the winter, don’t be too keen to plant them out in the spring. Wait until the last of the frosts have passed.
Here is one of our Dahlia root systems we have dug up . That is all from 1 cutting that was planted up in April! It was a beautiful big plant and now we can see why with this great root system supporting it.
Our Agapanthus here at Cramden Nursery were so ready for more root room! They look so much better now. The Evergreen varieties will gently grow thought he winter while the Deciduous ones will die down and await the spring.
Holiday time is here and it is great to get away for a break, but how will your plants cope with out you?
It is always difficult to decide what to do about watering while you are away, do you or don’t you ask a neighbour or family to look after your beautiful pots? If it is hot when you are away will they have to be round watering every day for you? Is that too much to ask?
Here are a few helpful tips for you to think of before you get away for your well earned break:
You can help to reduce the need for watering by moving your pots where possible into a shadier place in the garden, just while you are away.
Clump your pots together so it will be easier for your watering team to water them all together and not to miss any out.
Bring your hanging baskets down to ground level, not only are they easier to water, they won’t dry out so much as they won’t have all that warm air circulating around them.
To ensure your plants are looking beautiful for your home coming not only dead head your flowers before you leave but take off most of the flowers too, by the time you come home all those buds will be bursting into flower for you and not a dead head in sight.