Friday, 16 March 2012

How to create stunning plants that people want to buy

The WH Horticultural Society holds it’s main fundraiser, - A plant sale on Saturday May 12th 2.00pm, This is a great opportunity to pass on any surplus plants to a good cause, and buy new things for your garden.

- So if you want to provide plants for the sale, what should you look for?

1) Have you/could you sow/n any seeds this year that are surplus to requirements?, - each year I try to practice restraint, but usually manage to germinate enough tomato and pepper plants to feed West Horsley, and If I manage to get the cucumber seed packet wet and soggy, I have to sow them all.

2) Did your garden plants do the self sowing for you? - i've planted up seedlings (mini plants) from gardens of Acer palmatum, Hellebores, Astrantia, Lychnis, Gaura, Aqueligia, Verbena bonariensis and Erigeron karvinskianus, Plus lavenders,. - have a look round your borders and see if any plants have done the propagation for you.

3) Have you got anything that can easily be split? – February and March are right in the border splitting season. a lot of plants can be easily divided without harming them and you often won't be able to see that anything has been taken within a couple of weeks, - easy splitters include some Geraniums, Hostas, Mint, Chives plus late flowering perennials such as Asters, Schizostylus and Heleniums.

When you've decided what to pot up, (and Squires at West Horsley have a very convenient recycling pot centre if you need some more) don't forget to wash your pots (so as not to pass on any fungal diseases), use a potting or multipurpose compost rather than garden soil and take as much plant and as little soil as you can to keep the roots intact. - This will ensure that there are no pieces of weed root clinging to your plants to pass on to another gardener.

Ensure that your plant has enough compost pushed in around the roots in the pot, to stop air pockets forming, so that it can take up water.

It is best if you pot up the plants weeks, or a couple of months in advance of the sale. Nuture them with regular watering and turning towards the light a half turn every couple of days (Tip from Mr Peach our show judge) and we will have fantastic plants to sell on to local gardeners.

Don't forget to label them, (Tip from current members –use recycled milk bottles to make labels)- even if you don't know the full latin name, any idea of when it flowers/ is in full foliage and what colour will help to ensure someone else take your plant away to treasure.

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