For gardeners, there’s a fine balance between enjoying the present moment & planning ahead. It’s not a difficult to achieve this in August, because apart from harvesting the rewards of the previous months work, there’s not too much to do.
However, one of the planning ahead things in the garden this month is to take Pelargonium cuttings. It’s one of those rewarding tasks, giving you plenty of free plants for next summer, you can also be happy to have tipped the balance towards gardening more sustainably.
- Healthy Pelargonium plants.
- Pots of soil with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
- A sharp knife or secateurs.
- Plant labels
Line up the Pelargoniums & choose healthy stems near the top of the plant, these are the newest.
Cut a piece, approximately 8-10cm long, just above a pair of leaves. They won’t all survive, so take plenty of cuttings.
Remove the lower leaves, so that 2-3 pairs remain, then remove any flowers or their buds.
Dip the base of the stem into hormone rooting powder & tap off any excess. Don’t worry if you don’t have any HRP, it’s not strictly necessary.
Make a 3 holes with the end of a pencil around the edge of each pot. Insert the cutting, firming the compost gently around it, & water them.
Remember to stick a label in each pot, even if you don’t have a name for them, it’ll remind you of the colour.
There’s no need to cover the pot with a polythene cover, it can cause too much damp & therefore mould.
Keep them indoors on a light filled windowsill away from direct heat. Alternatively, keep them in a greenhouse, where they’ll get plenty of light, & bring them inside to before the first frosts appear.
Check the soil with you fingertips a couple of times a week, making sure the soil dries out between watering.
Re-pot them into individual pots in March/April.
All photos: jill Anderson