As Promised

I told those who read my Six on Saturday post that I would begin planting out the next day and Reader, as promised, I did! Not only did I plant out some of the seedlings, I also planted out the most advanced of the dahlias, six so far in the above bed and three in the bed shown below. With more space to stretch their limbs they should begin to romp away soon, especially with a combination of warmth and dampness and no prospect of frost.

The majority of last year’s tubers came through the winter successfully, tucked up out of the cold, and I have bought only two new ones this year, David Howard and a replacement Bishop of Llandaff,  acquired as rooted cuttings from Halls of Heddon. The sweet peas in the above bed are Gwendoline and King George VI, and a variety called Sorbet Mix from Chiltern Seeds below; all are doing well. Between them I have popped some lettuce plugs from Aldi.

In the cutting beds I have either planted out or placed in position all the potted-on seedlings of a viable size, and My Goodness! doesn’t it feel good?! It’s one of the year’s rituals, the first planting out and, despite another dry and warm day on Monday, today has been one of gentle rain so everything is now well-watered in. Good timing indeed! This year, for the first time, I am going to use horizontal netting for support, something I have seen done successfully on other blogs.

Pressure for space in the greenhouse has immediately been reduced (as has the demand for 6-cell trays) but it’s still pretty full in there, and although those 322 plug plants are begging to be planted out, most of them are destined for pots still full of tulips. At first I pinched off the flowers as the buds appeared, but gave up trying to keep up with them as they responded favourably to all the sunshine and flourished. It may have to be a pot-by-pot process as the tulips fade, but in the meantime they make a pretty display in the greenhouse.

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15 Responses to As Promised

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    322 plug plants, good lord you have been busy! And will be planting all those out. They look in great condition what are feeding them?

    • Cathy says:

      The idea is that pre-planning obviates the need for random spontaneous purchases (which wouldn’t have been possible in these circumstances anyway!) and they will fill all my pots. Surprisingly, seeing them all pricked out, they don’t look as many as it sounds! Not that I need to justify them of course 😉

  2. Cathy says:

    322 plug plants!?! My goodness Cathy, you will be busy! With the warm ground and rain you will literally be able to watch everything grow. We have also finally got some light rain too. Not much, but better than nothing. 😃

    • Cathy says:

      It’s not as much as it sounds, because it includes about 80 teeny tiny plugs of trailing lobelia, which will be shoved in pots as extra fillers

  3. No wonder your garden is so full of color…322 plants is a mind boggling amount to me. Your greenhouse does look pretty with all those plants blooming. I think it is very exciting to see all the plants in the ground too, so much promise of blooms to come.

    • Cathy says:

      If I hadn’t planned and ordered in advance I would have had no idea how many plants were in my pots each summer, as they would just have been bought spontaneously, so its a good discipline. And yes, once things are planted outside they have more room to grow and seem to bulk up quickly

  4. I am impressed: 322 plug plants! They are going to look fantastic when they are all planteed up. I am still hopeing the garden centres will open up soon as my decorative pots look quite sad.

    • Cathy says:

      Pre-planning certainly paid off in the circumstances – but it’s a good discipline and prevents haphazard purchases

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Dahlias are quite happy here, and do not need to be dug through winter. However, they seem to bloom better in climates that they seem to be less adapted to! It makes no sense. Ours start earlier, but bloom later. Some boom late in summer and autumn.

    • Cathy says:

      They can be overwintered in some parts of the UK but I would rather not risk it

      • tonytomeo says:

        Actually, some people dig them even here. Of course, some dig them just to divide them and plant them deeper. They tend to get crowded and come to the surface.

  6. Heyjude says:

    I too am in awe of the amount of plug plants you have! And those seedlings you have already planted look so healthy. The sweet peas especially. I have 30 plugs of Cosmos that arrived today and which are also waiting for the tulips to vacate their pots. Won’t be long as our rain was not the gentle sort and neither was the wind!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s just the pre-planning that makes it sound a lot, Jude 😉 This year I sowed the outdoor sweet peas in Jan/Feb instead of the autumn as I found from one later sowing done last year that they performed much better. Sorry to hear about your wind and rain – no wind and apart from one short heavy shower the rain has all been the gentle and helpful sort…

  7. smallsunnygarden says:

    Ah well… someday I hope to become reasonably expert at starting plants, and if I ever succeed at all it will mostly be from a healthy envy of your greenhouse and seed-starting skills! Your planting-out weather sounds lovely and very similar to ours now. And your 322+ promise lots of summer colour!

    • Cathy says:

      It’s only in recent years that I feel I have become successful with seed sowing – mostly from putting more time and effort into it – in the ‘old days’ I never used to prick out and pot on, for example, but now know how important it is. Hold on to your dreams Amy, and the time will come…

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