Update: The Sweet Pea Saga
Hola! A couple of months have passed since I posted about my venture into growing *a few* bits and pieces to pop into my floral designs (catch up on my previous post here). AND... drum roll please... I have flowers! My Sweetpeas have grown so tall that I have even had to make a string support system to hold them up!
Take-aways that I'll definitely be doing again:
- Small branches are FAB for their curly little grabbers to hold onto when they're first starting out but they need extra support when they get a bit bigger. I've been using string but on my trips visiting local flower growers (I mean, the profeshs - not clueless people like me!) I notice they use netting, or ever the wire fencing mesh.
- Coffee grounds are IMMENSE at keeping slugs and snails away! I would 100% recommend as a natural, pet and hedgehog friendly method. (Gotta love those hedgehogs!). You don't seem to need to replace them very often either. Even through the rain they've been staying put and I've just been topping up when I have some more. I should add that when I have a gap in my flowery work I tend to pick up a few shifts in a tea room which kindly let me have their coffee grounds for the garden. I've been using around a quarter of a bucket full (which is one days worth of coffee grounds from the tea room) in a month.
- After having a moan to a lady on the plant stall at a coffee morning I have been following her advice and feeding my Sweetpeas. I've been using "worm juice" (not actually sure what it's really called) from my Mum's wormery (which she uses to make compost for the garden). If you've been keeping up with my posts about making biodegadable confetti, these wiggly little guys get the benefit of being fed all of my left overs! Anyway... whilst eating up all the yummy bits to make compost they also produce a "juice". It's super potent and needs to be watered down so I've been mixing it in when watering.
- Some other advice from lovely flower growers is not to water every day. For other clueless gardeners like me: apparently we need to be watering our flowers every other day and in the coolest part of the day (evening or early morning) to make them want to search for water and grow nice strong roots.
Some news on my other flower babies: I did finally manage to get a few Nigella to grow but they're quite short. I'm told that they will grow back stronger next year so fingers crossed! I've even managed to get a few flowers on my six remaining Cosmos - again, they're not very tall. I think I might have planted out too late?
Lastly - and most amazingly - my Delphinium seedlings which had ALL of their leaves eaten by slugs (this was pre-coffee ground discovery!) are making a come back! They're tiny but they have two or three leaves each. I'm hopeful that they might be on track for flowering next year. After all, if they can resurrect surely they can cope with anything!!
I'm starting to think about next summer's flowers: if you have any recommendations for cute things that are easy to grow - let me know!