Monday, 28 November 2011

Helen the Gardener's guide to plug plants

If you're a beginner gardener, here's Mabley Meadow regular and professional gardener Helen Wilson's step-by-step guide to planting plug plants (aka tiny little seedlings you buy in trays).

Take the plug out of the tray - they often have a hole in the bottom so you can just pop it out with your finger.

Your plugs might be root-bound, which means the roots have coiled round and around inside the plant's container. You have to sort that out before planting, so gently rub your planting fork (or trowel) up and down the roots to loosen them slightly.

Until it looks a bit like this.

Loosen up the ground all around where you're going to plant. This will mean once your plant starts to grow, its roots will have lots of nice, loose soil to spread out into.

Dig a hole for your plug plant. If you get the depth of the hole just right, when you fill it in, the level of the ground should be the same as it was when the plant was in its container, with no roots showing.

Pop in the plug in the hole and gently press down the soil around it. Ideally, you should now water it, but because we didn't have a hose or watering can, we're just praying for rain instead. Luckily, because it's getting colder, the soil is still quite damp so we should be OK anyway

Now wait for you tiny little plants to grow big and strong.

Plugs a'plenty!

The planting session on Saturday was a great success! So now the areas around our amazing new benches are full of perennial wildflower species, which (if all goes well) will flower year after year without us having to lift a finger. We planted what are called 'plug plants', which are tiny little seedlings you buy in trays. The good news: they're super easy to plant - we planted 100 in less than an hour. The bad news (for now): they don't look like much at the moment. But if they like their new home, they'll look spectacular next summer.

We also put in some Camissia bulbs, which will look amazing. So next spring, take a seat on the sunny bench, and keep an eye out for something a bit like this:

Friday, 18 November 2011

Planting day - Saturday 26 November

Long, balmy autumns are perfect for planting - and we couldn't have been luckier this year. So on Saturday 26 November, come along to the meadow between 10am and 2pm and plant a wildflower or two.

The species we'll be planting are all perennials, so if they like their new home, they'll flower year after year without us having to lift a finger.

All tools will be provided, and all ages welcome.

See you there!

Palas por Pistolas - update

You might remember that way back in 2010, we were lucky enough to be paid a visit by Mexican artist Pedro Reyes - who's been planting trees all over the world as part of his incredible Palas por Pistolas project.

The walnut tree we planted with him is settling into Mabley Green nicely, and now Pedro has listed all the trees on his new project website. Check it out here, and take a look at Mabley Green's tree here.