Dahlia and Box Cuttings
It’s the first year we have grown Dahlias (‘Coltness Mix’) from seed for cut flowers at the allotment and in doing so have we also learnt an important lesson in bringing on plants. The seeds were sown in a covered seed tray back in March and once the first true leaves appeared we pricked out a few into pots. For some reason (we might have run out of compost) we didn’t prick them all out. Those that had been potted on went into a bay window in the house. After a few weeks most were transferred to the greenhouse at the allotment, leaving a few in the window and at the same time the remaining ones in the seed tray were potted on. Well what a difference at planting time. Those that were left in the seed tray and potted on late were considerably behind, with poor root growth – good enough to go out, but behind. Those in the bay window, that I had always considered to be bright & light, were rather lanky and delicate looking and it is these that we have potted on to mollycoddle on the balcony, as in the photo on the left. Finally, the ones that were potted on in a timely fashion and then transferred to the greenhouse are wonderfully stout, sturdy plants that look great planted out in a row. Of course it’s nothing that you don’t read regularly in the gardening books, but often it’s only this firsthand experience of seeing the difference that makes it sink in.
The photo on the right shows some Box cuttings I took a couple of years ago, but never got around to potting on. They had stalled, but I repotted them this winter and they have now started to put on new growth. The cuttings took easily in the usual way and I intend to take lots more this year, when I prune the Box balls, for use as edging at the allotment.
More photos from the Balcony yesterday on the blog at: www.thehessiansack.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/photos-flowers-...