Saturday, June 11, 2016

...Hedgerow Update...

That's 96 of the gorse seedlings pricked out into 4 plug trays with ordinary multipurpose compost. A few of them you can hardly see because they've obviously only just germinated in the last few days: that's worth noting. I sowed them in trays on 27th April, and reported a lot of them germinating 11 days later. But as I've learned this morning, some of them were germinating some 6 weeks after sowing. So, let's say, Ulex europaeus appears to germinate at temperatures around 20c in between 1 and 6 weeks. In the shallow trays I used, (recycled tin trays from supermarket ready-to-roast chickens), it wouldn't have been wise to leave them much longer than 6 weeks, as some of them had already impressive root systems, up to 6ins long.

The plug trays I got from Tesco, 5 trays of 24 plugs. I filled them all this morning, but have only pricked out 50% of the seedlings, so will fill another 4 or 5 plugs. Even if I lose a few along the way, we're looking at 200ish gorse plants. Hot diggedy dawg. Of the test batch I sowed, I think in mid-April, the biggest of them is starting to get prickly in its upper growth, so that's after less than 2 months, maybe 7-8 weeks.

I'll plant them out when they're about 9-12 ins high. Big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves. Meanwhile...

...Here they are, in a fish crate, with a net over them, on top of a wheelbarrow. I think the guard dog is an example of overkill, mind. And it's a bit precarious if we get heavy winds, so I need to think of another way of keeping slugs and snails out. Maybe copper wire around the fish crate?

I like the way the region of the New Potting Shed is operational already.

Finally, not everything in the hedgerow news is good this morning. Last night Asda had fresh figs on sale for the first time this year. Brazilian figs from Israel. Bah! I scooped out the seeds and put them in a pint pot of warm water to separate them from the pulp, and... they've almost all failed the float/sink seed viability test. Maybe 4 or 5 seeds on the bottom of the glass, from 3 figs. Cost me £2 too. Might be cheaper, [gulps] to actually buy a packet of fig seeds. (Scrub that. Considering how many 100s of seeds are in each fig, the price of seeds online is outrageous.)