More Gardening Tips from Mr. Crain

More Gardening Tips from Mr. Crain

Most of you, by now have gotten to know my dad, Mr. Crain.  He is a beloved fixture around town and especially at our shop!  Dad is an exceptional gardener who keeps his plants thriving all year long and his flower beds looking sharp. Last year he blessed us with his knowledge on potting and rooting succulents, and I have to say, the succulents on Alder St. are still thriving! We've even included a few of our home-grown babies in this month's curated collection! In this blog, Mr. Crain is going to show us how to start plants from seeds and how to split up plants that have grown too big for their pots.

These are the tools we've gathered for today's lesson.  you will need a good spade, empty pots, scissors, and potting mix.  Dad likes to use a mix of Black Kow, potting soil, and garden humus (compost).

When starting plants from seeds, Dad likes to use peat pellets to fill his seed trays.  These pellets come full of nutrients, are easy to use, and cut down on the mess of using loose soil.  They hold their moisture a little better than the soil and makes it easier to for you to keep your seeds damp. If you don't have peat pellets, it is fine to use your potting soil mix to fill the trays. 

If you are using the pellets, just drop one in each slot, water thouroughly, and watch them expand.  They will grow to fill the hole.  If you are using the potting soil, just go ahead and dampen the soil with water.

When the peat pellets have expanded, just push on them with your finger and spread them out a little. 

Be sure to go ahead and label the slots for your seeds or you will have a hard time knowing what is what when they start to sprout!

Take your tiny seeds and lay them on top of each slot in the tray, according to how you labeled them.  Push the seeds down a little just so they won't wash to the side when you water.  Each type of seed requires a different depth so be sure to read the back of your seed packet for helpful tips. Keep the seeds moist for the next few weeks and watch your little seeds sprout into small plants!  When they grow their second set of leaves it will be time to move them to a bigger pot or time to plant them in the ground. 

Now we will move on to the opposite stage of plant life, when it has become pot-bound and too big for it's container.  Dad's beautiful herb garden has outgrown its pot so it is time to split these plants up and give them a little breathing room.

Go ahead and prep an empty pot (or two) by filling it two thirds of the way with your potting mix.  

After removing the pot-bound clump from its original pot, you can begin to gently pull apart the different kinds of plants.  If you are working with one large plant that has become pot-bound, you can go ahead and gently pull at it to create some separation. 

When you have decided where to divide, you need to cut through the roots with a knife or with your garden shears.

You will need to loosen up the soil and the roots before moving to the new pot.

Decide which plants go in which pots and begin the potting process.  Set your new, smaller plants on top of the soil you have prepped, and begin filling in around the sides and the top with more soil.

We had enough herbs to turn one pot into three!  They will be so much happier now that they have some growing room!

Repotting is inevitable for all pot plants.  Don't be afraid to split them up and spread them out.  It is a great opportunity for you to expand your garden or to bless friends by sharing your bounty.  I love to swap plants with friends!  Dad's little herbs were so plentiful, he was a sweetie and shared a couple of the new pots he created with me.  What a blessing to step out to my side porch when I am cooking and snip some fresh herbs to use in my favorite recipes.  Not only are they delicious, but I am reminded of my sweet Dad every time! 

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