Yes, I am being adventurous!
Right, so, gardening novice though I am, I was flicking through Alan Tichmarsh’s Gardeners’ Year book, when it told me that Pinks are past their best after three to four years. Panick! I love pinks and we’ve inherited several of them, that according to Alan Titchmarsh are close to being past their best as the stems are getting woody. The best thing to do apparently, is take cuttings.
So, for the first time, that is what I have done; following the instructions in the book. The book also did clematis; so I had a go at that as well. And my Mum wanted cuttings of my ceanothus, so that too has gone into the little mini greenhouse thing next to the shed. I’m not sure what you’d call it – stone walls, but a glass lid – I’m sure it’s an old VW window.
The cuttings have gone in normal compost; not the cuttings compost recommended though. And I haven’t done the bags over the top of the pots because I did this in July when it was hot and I thought the potting pit – as I’ve decided to call it – might act in a similar way to a bag. That and the fact that I wouldn’t know which moving box to look in for elastic bands or string. (Yes; I am aware my priorities may be a little skewiff doing plant cuttings before unpacking, but there you go!)
How do you tell if it’s working? I cut the pinks just ABOVE a leaf joint; same with the ceanthus; and in between leaves for the clematis. So how do I know if new little roots are growing in there or not without disturbing them? Because if they’re not, then I’ll do the bag thing and just tie them up or something.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Update in February: I have since discovered that the structure described above would probably be referred to as a cold frame.
The canothus and the clematis died, but the pinks are looking good. They have tiny little roots comng off the stem and I’ve taken them out the cold frame so it gets the rain as I keep forgetting to water them. Perhaps it’s too early in the year still though.
Anyway, I’m going to give cuttings another go this year, this time doing the plastic bag thing, now I’ve unpacked the elastic bands!
Another cuttings-related thing worth mentioning here: last autumn I pruned the roses, and as seen on Gardener’s World, I cut up the cuttings and stuck them in the ground. I wasn’t really expecting anything of them, but now nearly all of them have fresh buds growing on them! I’m amazed! With any luck I’ll have about 10 new roses plants around the garden all for free!