For the last few weeks I have been battling with the propagation schedule for 2012. When one grows annuals, perennials, shrub, woody, tender and tropical herbs in a comparatively small propagation area, it is rather like doing one of those impossible jigsaws.
We have just finished all the root cuttings so that the seed sowing schedule can start next week. Priority goes to the Chelsea annuals that have to be in flower for May, what a thought just 24 weeks until we deliver , no pressure! We will do two sowings, one now and one in a month’s time, this second sowing will catch up, but we need the insurance so that can we guarantee, as much as possible, that the plants will be as near perfect for those unique days in May at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show
So the headache is that I need to get x amount of trays through the house in December and January, when the light levels are low and the day and night time temperatures are erratic so making it nearly impossible to schedule. Where as the April schedule for plants, sellable in July, is much easier as one can actually forecast how long a plant will take from seed to sale, which on average is 6 weeks. So to help me concentrate and to stop me feeling uptight with the computer I am drinking my 3pm tea and when things get really bad, I go and find Hampton, my dog, and walk the farm.
I have made an interesting mistake with my own garden, I
put these pea seeds to dry on the table near my house, before storing, then forgot them, and it rained, they have now germinated . So I have potted them up and we will shortly be having pea shoots in our salads.
Despite our first frost, of the month, last night it has been incredibly warm. This I am sure accounts for the infestation of aphids still being rampant on our outside stock.
These black aphids are making a meal of garlic chives. We spray with a soft soap solution, please do not use washing up liquid as this is not suited for use on plants . This solution is readily available from any good hardware store or garden centre.
So now I have finished the propagation schedule it is off to the seed shed to clean all the seeds we have harvested this year, get them labelled and filed so that we can find them quickly once the season is up and running. It’s a great job to do and the smell is amazing and, even better, it takes me away from the computer.