July 14, 2009

Plant Perennials

Every plant has its own nature. Like the needs of birds, reptiles and mammals are different so are annuals, biennials, and perennials. Since this is the last day of the best week of the year to plant perennials I thought I would share with you what secrets I know.


Not all seeds will germinate at the same time
Some seeds take 3 years or more to germinate
(germinate = to come to life)
Transplanting plants with roots is the easiest and fastest method of growing
Mature plants self-propagate, from seeds or sending up new plants from the root
The mother eventually dies away after a few seasons so let the new plants develop

The best way I know to start perennials from seed is:

fill 6" or 8" pot with the best soil you have (not potting soil nothing will grow for long in just potting soil must have organic matter like worm castings, very old manure, fish fertilizer, and best of all compost)

dig a hole at the spot you want the plant to grow and bury the pot in the ground up to the brim of the pot, this is the first year

water normally

after the seed sprouts, when it has at least 2 leaves, it can be transplanted into a 4" pot (which is then buried as well), this can be the first, second, or third year

the next spring, after the full moon, you can transplant these hardy plants right into the garden

by fall you will see the plant will have quadrupled in space it takes up, and this will happen each following year of the plant's life - remember the extra space will be needed when planting the hardy plants in the soil,
in fact, you will have to remove (or divide) them to keep their growth in check

forever now you will never again have to plant seeds for the perennial

in fact, forever now you will have to remove (or divide) them to keep their growth in check

many nutritious herbs grow this way and are a more efficient way to get nutrients to your table - mint, lemon balm, oregano, rosemary, lovage, thyme, sage

perennial vegetables are low maintenance and reappear each year - here ins the north we can grow asparagus, some onions, horseradish, and if lucky artichokes

The best secret I can share, as it was missed in the book, is to poke a willow twig in the ground with your seeds, it will work like magic and that's all there is to say. Try it in one pot and see for yourself. Nature has all the solutions, we just have to embrace them.

This is a brief introduction to perennials, details for growing many plants in my new book.

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1 comment:

  1. Great info, Ruth. Sometimes I need a bit of a refresher.