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October 14, 2015
Autumn is the best time of year for spinning a profit on the plants you own. It’s the season where the garden gives back so much more than you’ve put in. Not only is it the time when we often harvest our home crops, it’s a busy time for splitting plants and collecting the seeds.
By the end of our article you could double or triple your plant bounty and have oodles of spares to swap with friends or to sell at the garden gate. This is a very popular pastime here in North Yorkshire with a lot of the houses around us doing the same.
Here’s what we do to expand our plant collections.
Collect the Seeds
It’s now time to collect the seeds from many bedding plants over the summer. Some gardeners avoid annuals as they obviously die out in winter. By collecting the seeds you can make sure they come back year after year and it takes hardly any effort at all.
You’ll need:• Paper envelopes• Pen• Secateurs• A good eye
Before you change your hanging baskets or pull up faded summer plants check to see if they have seed pods. Most of them will. This year we’ve collected the seed pods from:
• Sweet Peas• Petunias• Marigolds• Cosmos
We put the seeds in the paper envelopes (plastic can make them sweat) and label them ready for later in the year.
Using a heated propagator we usually start them off under cover between November and January.
It’s not just annuals that offer a seed bounty, many perennials do too such as:
• Delphiniums• Lupins• Many types of daisies• Honesty
You’ll be surprised by the seeds you find once you take a closer look.
Autumn is the best time for moving or splitting plants. The plants are usually sleeping and so can endure the upheaval.
To split a plant you need:• Scissors• String or twine• Trowel or spade• Compost
First, you need to identify that the plant can be split. This involves spreading the leaves to see if there are sections underneath.
The types of plants that can be split now include:
• Those grown from bulbs, Lilies for example• Grasses, like Chives• Herbs such as Parsley, Mint and Oregano
Those with a single tap root cannot normally be split.
1) To start, dig up the whole plant ensuring there’s a good soil clearance around it so you don’t damage the roots.2) Decide how many sections you’d like to split the plant into. If it’s the first time, we recommend just splitting it into two.3) From the roots, carefully divide the sections, untangling any roots or part of the plant that may be entwined. 4) Plant both sections in new compost and cover with soil. Water well.There are other ways to multiply plants from runners to root cuttings and grafts. These above are the easiest method for us when enjoying a little time in the autumn sun.
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