Flower Spikes Showing

Goes to show how mild this winter has been as in amongst this tray several Twist of Lime and Lemon and Limes have chosen to start flowering!
We will be preparing and checking stock for Mapperton Plant Fair tomorrow, so let us know if you would like us to bring any particular varieties with us. So far we have had a request for Catherine and Diana Remembered.

All Quiet on the West Country Front

Haven’t posted much for a little while as have been busy potting thousands of Hostas over the last 2 weeks. Finally finished that and am now looking forward to our first event of the year.
We will be attending Burrow Farm Gardens Spring Show this Sunday 31st March. Nervous and excited, because it has been a while since our last event at Malvern last September, but looking forward to meeting people and sharing stories about Hostas.

Chillie and Garlic mix!

Well here is a 2 litre concentrate of our Garlic and Chilie mix. It actually smells quite nice when your making it and not so garlicy. We used 1 table spoon of chilie flakes per bulb of garlic.
Sprayed now, so I will let you know how we get on.
Now you are wondering why use this mix rather than the pure Garlic mix? Well the chilie is a recommended additive to deter rabbits and deer from eating your plants. In this case we are doing it to deter mice and shrews.

Look what I found!

Was doing the usual checks on the Hostas and came across this, a Kiwi Hippo that had been munched, however it wasn’t slugs and snails it was a mouse or shrew. So, I’m going to use the modified garlic solution to deal with this. If you add some chilli flakes to the garlic, brew, then this should deter them. I’ll let you know how I get on. This is the method for dealing with rabbits and deer, so hopefully, it should work for the little ones.

Changeover to Plant Sales

We have changed the website and have stopped bare root sales and changed over to plant sales.
Thankyou to everyone that purchased bare root Hostas, we will be shipping them to you over the next few weeks.
The website only has a few potted Hosta varieties currently available but more, will be added each week as they are checked and have started growing and we know they have all done well over winter.

More Hostas waking up.

More and more of the #hostas are waking up, Dixie Chick, Golden Tiara, Cracker Crumbs, Guacamole and Goldrush.

Just to remind you that there is always a chance of the temperatures falling back again and all these hostas are grown outdoors so fleeces at the ready.

Garlic Drench Time

Well it is that time of year again, Valentines day, February 14th and it is time to start drenching Garlic into the pots to give you that head start for the year.
Why do we do this? Well by starting the process now it affects the eggs of slugs and snails that are in the pots and any that come into contact with the solution will not develop. Also the small black slugs that are in the pot’s soil tend to die. So by doing the drench it gives you a month or so’s head start on the season and you only have to contend with the slug/snail population that is elsewhere in yours and your neighbours gardens.
When we do the drenching we make a stronger/double solution to ensure that we thoroughly drench the pots.
Note of Caution: Never buy your garlic mixture, always make it yourself and dispose of and make fresh every 2 to 3 months. Your mixture can go off and it looses its garlic smell and becomes quite rancid! The other reason for not keeping your mixture for too long is that it can develop botulinum which can be very nasty, so always wash your hands.
How we make our Garlic.
We take 1 to 2 garlic bulbs (not cloves, but whole bulbs) This amount varies dependent on your bulb size and strength.
Cut horizontally across the middle to expose the garlic, place in a pan of water with 1 to 2 litres of water, crush and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until it stinks the house out. You can’t over cook it and again garlic varies in strength.
Let the mixture cool.
Sieve the mixture to take the bits out and put it in a bottle.
For normal spraying mix we take about 4 table spoons to a gallon of water and spray on the leaves and soil to deter slugs and snails.
When we drench into the pots as we are doing at present we use about 6 to 8 table spoons to the gallon.
We repeat this process every week to 10 days.
Once the Hostas are in leaf we change from drenching to spraying. Remember if it rains you have to do it again, can get quite busy, but with the larger sprayers it doesn’t take too long. We tend to use 5 litre sprayers so hence the gallon amount.
Last little piece of advice, this also works on other plants that are attractive to slugs and snails, such as dahlias and delphiniums.

2 days since Hosta June was taken out.

Well it has been 2 days since June has been in the seed growing booth and as you can see it is growing fast and furious. Will try and acclimatize it outside again once the extremes of the weather have settled down. But on the positive side it is nice to see fresh Hostas leaves.