After my recent problems with cuttings I took (I say recent but I've had the same problems every year I've tried doing them) I decided to dig out a book on Fuchsia that I knew I had somewhere. I then sat with a coffee and read the whole thing - well the bits that had pictures anyway, and then this morning I took it out to the polytunnel with me and followed the instructions to the letter.
It seems I have been making a few mistakes each time I've tried this
- I always use regular potting compost - too nutrient rich apparently.
- I've always put them in full sun - I've literally cooked them.
- I've always firmed the soil - no need apparently.
I filled my pots with potting compost mixed with perlite, I took my cuttings of 'Paula Jane' (the only one I have left that has enough growth due to my previous attempts) according to the book - it seems that they don't need to be cut below a leaf node this time of year, who knew! - removed lower leaves and dipped each one in rooting hormone.
In one of the pots I did cuttings below a node (old habits die hard) and the other one as the book suggested.
The cuttings were then well watered in and I resisted the urge to firm them down. Finally I put them in the heated propagator and moved the propagator out of full sun - no cooking this time round.
If these don't survive (look too leafy and big for my liking) I'm giving up and I'll buy the ruddy things!
I haven't just been playing with Fuchsia though, I finally managed to get those Parsnip seeds sown and the Leeks out.
The first year I sowed Parsnips I simply sowed the seed on the soil and I had a fantastic crop that year but then I read it's a good idea to create a cone in the soil, fill it with compost and sow the seeds into that - it helps to prevent forked roots apparently. Ever since reading that it's the method I've used even though I didn't have a problem with forked roots, so this year I tried both methods and will compare the crops.
With the Leeks I've always used a piece of bamboo to create a deep hole and simply dropped the Leeks into the hole and watered them in, the soil settles itself eventually and I always get a decent crop.
Leeks are uncovered but I'll be checking them tomorrow in case the feral cats (of which most have decided they like us because we offer free food 24/7) have left messages everywhere.
Oh the weather is glorious right now!