#Britishflowers hour – 16th January 2017 – Preparing to Grow in 2017
This was the first official #britishflowers hour for 2017! The hosts were Sara Willman (@myflowerpatch) and Lara Smith (@MFCFlowers), with Mike Rogers (@sofaflyer) assisting and notes by Jess Streeter (@SussexRoses); we discussed ‘preparing to grow in 2017’.
It was a very busy hour but some notable ideas were:
- Make a seed inventory before you browse/buy your seeds for the year. It is very easy to get carried away (and spend a lot of money!) when you already have lots of seeds that could still give you lots of beautiful flowers.
- Make sure you take note of yours, and other peoples, ‘disasters’; even though it’s a pain at the time it is the best way to learn, so don’t be ashamed to tell us British flowers folk all about it! Problems also help you plan for next year’s growing season.
- Sometimes making lots of random lists can create more problems, maybe try a page a day diary or if that feels restrictive get a big notebook and scribble away.
- If you’re looking to add a heated propagator to your tools then you can buy a heat mat, install a light with some sand underneath, invest in a vitapod propagator (but not cheap) or build your own – there is lots of information online and some good videos on YouTube.
- If using a heated mat ensure that you do keep your seedlings covered to reduce evaporation but do lift daily to allow for air flow and reduce dampness.
- If you’re struggling with mice a lot of us would recommend getting a cat! But alternatively, hedgehogs seem to deter mice or the standard traps/cages to catch them.
- Weeds are a problem for us all – try Mypex or cardboard to stop their growth on pathways and around your plants.
But overall the beginning of the year is all about planning: what will you grow, where will you grow it, crop rotation, supplies, website and social media updates and of course the all-important tax return! But if you can start the year off on track then the rest of the year should all be a little easier, but don’t worry if you fall behind and don’t overwhelm yourself with to-do lists.
Next week’s topic will be colour trends for 2017, including varieties suitable for pantone greenery, so do join us at 8pm on Monday’s with the hashtag #britishflowers