Mid January can be a quiet time in the garden.
Most plants will be dormant and it is still a bit
early to sow this year’s seeds. With a bit of luck the dry sunny days at the
beginning of the month were perfect to catch up with the winter digging, and at
this point the winter has been relatively mild. This has helped the snowdrops
and aconites to spring
into action. The snowdrops started to flower in mid
December and now the aconites are opening up on sunny days and adding to the
|Lifting raspberry suckers for replanting elswhere|
|Well rooted strawberry runner|
However we still like to keep active so now is a good time to think about propagation of a whole range of plants.
Some plants can be propagated in winter by lifting up suckers growing away from the parent plant. Both raspberries and saskatoons grow easily from suckers but make sure they have plenty of roots to get them started. Strawberries can also be propagated at this time using runners that have grown away from the parent plant and lifting them with a good ball of soil. Traditionally strawberries are planted in rows three feet apart spacing the plants a foot apart, but, as often happens if there are plenty spare runners then plant a lot closer in the row so the first crops will have more fruit.
Blackberries can be tip layered by bending the ends of long shoots down to the ground and pegging them in firmly. They should be rooted by mid spring. They can also be propagated by using the tips as cuttings, putting them in pots of free draining compost and keeping them in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse over winter.
|Maple Sango Kaku cuttings|
Layering is also very successful with the evergreen Japanese azaleas, winter jasmine, heathers and hydrangea petiolaris. It usually helps if you scrape some of the bark off and peg the shoots down into the soil covering an inch or so with top soil. They should be well rooted by next winter.
Berries of chokeberry, blueberry and saskatoons saved from the summer crops had the seeds removed and placed in between layers of damp kitchen roll and placed in the fridge for six weeks, checking on them to keep them moist and free from botrytis. They were then sown in seed compost, but need a period of cold weather before they will germinate, so keep them outdoors to get exposure to winter weather.
Wee jobs to do this week
|Chitting potato Mayan Gold|