A bulk of this years plants will all be grown from seed, with as many as possible coming from cuttings.
We’ve spent a few days really getting the greenhouse and neighbouring polytunnel ready for the coming year; trimming back all of the hedges to improve the light, pruning the grape vines, creating new working and growing spaces and organising tools. This has really helped and it’s now a joy to work in.
The seeds have come from a variety of places, some hand collected by the forest garden team from wild sources, or seed saved from the last few years plants. Other seeds have come from Emorsgate Seeds (wild native seed) and The Real Seed Company (heritage variety vegetables) as well as Stormy Hall (Demeter bio-dynamic seed).
This years cuttings so far include :
- Summer fruiting Raspberries
- Autumn fruiting Raspberries
- Red Currants
- White Currants
- Black Currants
All of these cuttings have been encouraged to root with willow rooting hormone, a handy bi-product of trimming back the hedges. To make this rooting hormone is very straight forward; chop small willow whips or branches into 5cm pieces and place into a plastic container. Fill up the container with twice to 3 times as much water as you have willow cuttings, and then cover and leave to soak for 2 weeks. You can then use this to either water in cuttings or transfer to a jar to stand them in. It will keep for around a month.
We’ve been using waste planting trays from the local garden centre to sow our seeds, and hand sieving a lot of compost to create a suitable sowing medium. The planted seeds for the forest garden so far this year are :
These are currently all either in the green house, polytunnel or in a sheltered spot besidfe the polytunnel, and all are doing well!