Riverside Garden Centre by Comrie


Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Garden Monthly


Summer is the time for snipping. Snip off those old rose flowers which take
lots of energy away from the roots but leave the final pruning till spring. Snip
also any diseased and damaged leaves on any shrubs and dispose
them in the
fire or bin. You thereby remove and disease and pests before they chance to
spread. By far the most pleasant snipping which has great interest for the
gardener is found in the art of propagation. It will provide you with a stock of
plants in

a most economical way. They take longer to reach maturity than
bought specimens and for impatient gardeners it may not bring too much
pleasure though for many tending new miniature plants it is without doubt
fascinating work. During the slowest state in

their life cycle you get a chance
to look closely at plants that may one day become a giant Perthshire tree in
400 years time.

As a good rule of thumb the more expensive a plant is to purchase the more
difficult it is propagate. Some specimens take year
s to develop and are at high
risk through this period hence a high price tag. The amateur can start with
some really easy cuttings. You will be carrying out a form of genetic
engineering if you are ready for that? Most shrubs of an unusual form or habit

are clones of their parents. In fact a typical nursery is topped to brim with
Dolly the sheep’s. It is supremely interesting. You go into your garden and
snip off ten six inch lengths of privet, laurel or say hydrangea. Remove all
leaves except say 4
or five and pot into seed compost. Keep the humidity
around them high with a squirty bottle and apply bottom heat by keeping
them above a radiator. This will initiate small roots and the aim is to get this
going quickly so that the plantlet then can supp
ort itself before exhausting its
reserves. You will then have a number of plants that are identical clones to the
‘big one’ in your garden with the exact same DNA. So you are now credited
with being a genetic engineer and it is only a question of time be
fore you will
impress at your next dinner party and you can hand out your home grown gifts
as an example of your trials. You work on the simple types and then move up
to harder specimens. Roses are one to try as often they are regarded as being
more diff
icult but I find they have a reasonable capacity to root. Snip several
foot long shoots

of that favourite climber, clean and green, pencil thickness
and leaving 4 pairs of leaves on drop them deep down to the bottom of a long
tom pot which is the pots ros
es are sold in, wait six months and voila. Plants
are unique in the way they can reproduce from seed and both cuttings. As
soon as a cutting is removed the natural hormones trigger a cellular response
to alter growth cells to forming roots cells which ha
s a sort of magnetic polarity
towards the now exposed base of the cutting. A callusing takes place over the
wound and from this roots appear. Scoring the stem allows greater callusing
and more roots to appear is good for some specimens e.g. Willow but it

is not
an exact science. Here the hormones accumulate and we can boost this by
dipping in hormone powder. Recent research has shown that dipping the
entire cutting in a hormone liquid solution and allowing the hormone to flow
down naturally is an improv
ement on powder in some cases.

There is many an angry expletive heard in the county when you go out to find a
rabbit or deer has gone off with your prize show leeks, hosta

or rose. Deer
get used to almost any smell and using pepper, rotten eggs and hu
man hair as
a deterrent will work for a while

and if you are finding it hard to get hold of
coyote urine fear not a simple solution is at hand. Deer brains are hard wired
to fear the smell of blood and especially deer blood and triggers a “fear

Using a number of
old sock

hung it up in the garden full of blood
meal which is a readily available fertiliser will keep them away. It comes as
straight blood meal or fish, blood and bone. Your neighbours will
of course
chitchat that you are scaring t
hem away with the smell from your socks alone
but inside the
pungent aroma of the moist blood meal


blend with
the woollies to keep the gardens largest pest at bay. It even works for rabbits.
You may also elect to scatter it around you perimet
er plants and shrubs and
gain from it nutritional benefits as well.

You may even wish to experiment
with black puddings but that will definitely get the neighbours chatting as well
as the garden birds.

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Riverside Garden Centre

by Comrie






On the main road A85 going
West just after

Open 7 days a
week: 9.30am


Tel: 01764 670800