Growing pelargoniums in a large tea bag
This week has seen me busy taking the tops off tea bags with a pair of scissors. I’m not using my best quality Namosa bags though so haven’t completely lost the plot. I have some cheap floor dusting ones that have been lying around for years.
The reason? Well, I have been buying some annual bedding plants from a local DIY shop and this year they have been grown in what can only be described as big square tea bags. They come in either packs of six or ten and fit nicely next to one another ready to be pulled out and planted into the garden. The advantages of these seem to be that the roots don’t curl around inside a pot, neither do they intertwine with another plants roots making them difficulty to part. It’s a simple “why didn’t I think of that” idea.
Unlike my teabag experiment, these individual plant bags are made rectangular so they sit upright. Inside the grower has planted a plug, in the ones I bought we have trailing petunias, geraniums, verbena and some upright fuchsias. All of them were just right for planting with the fresh roots just starting to pop out of the fibrous tea bag paper. The single plants were so easy to plant out, all that was needed was to take out the solid paper square and gently place it into a hole. It was so tidy and effortless and I can guarantee that no roots were damaged in the process. The plants won’t be checked back by root shock and in next to no time the roots will be moving from the bag and looking for the fresh nutritious compost. It’s really a great system as the paper will soon biodegrade leaving no root restriction at all.
My experiment is a little more haphazard as the bags themselves don’t stand upright on their own, so I am grouping them together in a larger dish, pressing them closely so they support the next bag. I’m putting in some chamomile for a starter to see how it goes. I’m sure it’ll work and if I can get some square bags to play with, all the better. I have seen on Ebay you can get a thousand empty heat sealed tea bags for just over two euro so I could get some of those for a starter as the season for growing seedlings is certainly upon us.
Crawling out of the Tunnel
After last weeks glorious summer, I mean week, everything in the tunnel has shot up. All of the vegetable seeds are up, the sunflowers, lupins and sweet peas are practically crawling out of the door to be planted up. I even had so put shading on the seedlings to protect them from the glare. All of that glorious sunshine and I still see people going to the tanning salons.
I have quite a lot of flowering plants around the garden this year. The old favourite nasturtiums are going to be everywhere as I am finding seedlings in all corners and haven’t the heart to pull any up. We have Klauses perennial nasturtiums coming up too and I can see why he was giving them away for free last year with a seed order. The small tubers seem to have multiplied at an exponential level and they too, like their annual counterparts seem to be in every corner of the garden. It’s going to look lovely and I have the added bonus of being able to eat them if needed.
Make do and Plant
I was rummaging around an old skip the other day and found some “really nice” aluminium lampshades. They are large at around 50cm across and for a very brief amount of time they were actually on the ceiling in the hallway. Popular demand has relegated them to the garden though and I must say they do make delightful planters. I’ve put in a few of the tea bag petunias and an old conifer that was leftover from a Christmas display along with some ivy, still covered in glitter, again, left over from the Christmas basket. The reflective aluminium along with the glitter makes for a visually startling planter; you could probably see the sun reflected on them in space.