Monday, April 25, 2016

Hedgerow Update

As of this morning, I've got 9/10 gorse seeds germinated. Of those, 2 seem to have a problem shedding their seed coats, But let's say a 75% germination rate, and I've estimated I've got 400+ seeds, so that's as many as 300 plants for 280ft of boundary, (250 for now, actually: the S boundary is shaded by its fence, so gorse probably won't do; I'm thinking holly and yew, eventually).

I counted up the soft fruit bushes and other odds and ends of plants already in the hedgerow, and 31 have quickened. The hawthorn and alder have been disappointing. Zero hawthorn germinated, so there's something clearly wrong there: even without stratification, I've noticed in the past, you get a 1-2% germination rate; these buggers had 2 months in the fridge. The alder, I've got maybe 6 germinated of several hundred.

I'll prepare a finely riddled bed for the hawthorn and alder. They can go in there any time soon. I'll have to keep a close eye on the weeds. Some may come up this year, and more, inshallah, next spring. Clearly, the whole hedgerow is not going to be planted out in a single growing season, which is fine.

I've got 200-300 rose seeds. They came from a rose on a neighboring plot. I think it was probably a standard rose, though unpruned and ignored. I can't find the link now, but I seem to recall reading - or maybe someone told me - that you can't be quite sure what you're going to get with roses from seeds. Beasts with plenty of thorns growing lots of hips, I hope. We shall see. I'll start them out (as I have with everything else) on the study windowsill at home.

And there's also the scots pine, which I've forgotten to stratify. I may as well get it started this year, given it 2 months in the fridge, it can still be sown and on its way before the season's over. It's not a great hedge plant, in my opinion, but there will no doubt be invertebrates that thrive only on conifers.