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Midland Diary Discussion: 08 January 2011

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Started by: Diane Clement

Midland Diary No 36 - winter jobs

Go to latest contribution by Diane Clement, 17 March 2011, 09:16. Go to bottom of this page.

Contribution from Diane Clement 08 January 2011, 23:17top / bottom of page

Perhaps just a break in the wintery conditions, but time to catch up on some sowing and propagating.

Click here for my latest diary entry:

Midland Diary No 36 - Winter Jobs

Contribution from Colin Dolding 09 January 2011, 16:16top / bottom of page

Thank you Diane for reminding me of a long list of jobs to do once the seed distribution dies down a bit!! I did manage to sow my AGS seeds on Jan 1st though.

I have enjoyed your last 2 years of Diary and I know many others have, even though they do not contribute on the forum.

Thank you for keeping up with the postings even in the very busy times.

Contribution from Martin Rogerson 09 January 2011, 16:52top / bottom of page

Thanks Diane, we do appreciate your diary even if we don't always say so.

It heartens me to know I'm not the only person embarking on the tedious job of tidying Primulas. I limit myself to 1 CD of music per session or I get tired and frustrated which only creates excess cuttings!

Contribution from Shelagh Smethurst 10 January 2011, 11:09top / bottom of page
Energy levels

Well Diane you certainly keep us all up to scratch with your blog and we really enjoy reading it. Although I have to say when it is as dark and dismal as it is today and has been for the past few weeks, I am more and more in favour of winter hibernation. Trouble is I've left it too late this year to find a nice pile of DRY leaves. Oh well there is always next year.

Tidying up Primulas

Martin if it's any consolation yours is not the only home where there are more tweezers in the greenhouse than there are in the bathroom for stray eyebrows.

Contribution from Margaret Young 10 January 2011, 19:05top / bottom of page

Diane, I can't beleive it is already two years since you began the Midland Diary... I've enjoyed every one of them, thank you.

Tell me, will you excise the young Petrocosmea plantlet with a blade, now, or wait till it is a little larger and try "twisting " it off using only finger power?


Contribution from Diane Clement 10 January 2011, 22:05top / bottom of page

Thanks to you all for your comments, it's nice to share ideas and thoughts. Martin, I think you've got more primulas than me, a whole CD sounds like a long time! The biggest problem I find with Primula allionii is the stickiness of the leaves, I used to find the tweezers and my fingers got covered in sticky goo. A few years ago with very bad dermatitis, I started to wear latex gloves for all gardening tasks and I found that it also helps with this job as the fingers don't stick together.

Maggi, I think the little Petrocosmea sericea plantlet will probably come away quite easily. I don't think I will resort to a knife, I think a gentle teasing/easing will bring it away, hopefully with a bit of root.

P rosettifolia also makes plantlets like this, although P grandiflora doesn't and I do normal leaf cuttings with that species. I'll have a go with the P sericea and maybe show what happens in the next diary entry.

Contribution from Margaret Young 11 January 2011, 15:15top / bottom of page

Thank you, Diane. I'll wait a bit before removing any little plantlets, by whatever means.... well, all the potting mix is frozen so my choice is made for me!

(PS Sorry about typos in last post from me!)


Contribution from Brian Whyer 11 January 2011, 22:54top / bottom of page

Would you like to tell us your winter conditions for Petrocosmea Diane, temperature in particular. I find they sulk in the cold, especially the softer leaves species. This winter in frost free conditions they look fine.

Contribution from Diane Clement 12 January 2011, 23:02top / bottom of page
Over wintering Petrocosmeas

My husband has a frost free greenhouse which mainly contains his cacti and succulents. I occasionally pinch a bit of space for a few dodgy subjects. I have found that the petrocosmeas like to sit on the floor of the frost free house most of the time - they seem to enjoy the shady situation under the staging. I used to keep them in an unheated frame and have allowed them to go to -7C, but the last three years we have had lower temperatures than that, so I didn't want to risk it. Now I overwinter them frost free (but only just), and then they have actually stayed in this greenhouse all year as it suits them. This year they were at about +2C maximum for a month during the time of the coldest weather. Because they flower in the depths of the winter, I like to give them a bit of protection and enjoy the flowers in December and January.

The P grandiflora is looking very nice just at the moment, I will photograph it again this weekend as more flowers have opened.

Contribution from Anne Marise GIBSON 15 March 2011, 13:50top / bottom of page

Just read this Dianne and looked to me like you re-potted the primula! Now a few years ago (in an effort to find time for my allotments which keeep me busy at conventional re-pot time) I re-potted before flowering. But all the usual advise is to wait till after. Or was it an accidental re-pot?!

Contribution from Diane Clement 17 March 2011, 09:16top / bottom of page

Thanks for your interest, Anne Marise. I often repot primulas in the winter when I clean them up. As you see in the picture, the roots were well developed and I felt that new compost was needed. And I can report now that no harm was done as the primulas have been flowering very well this year.

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