Gardening

‘Tis the season for free stuff!

Last week I got a comment on one of my Facebook posts from my mother in law (Thank you, BTW!) that poked me into action about a post that I really should already have made, especially as I live for free stuff.

‘Tis Autumn… ‘Tis the season for free plants!

It’s at this time of year that you can split many of your perennial plants, harvest seeds and the last chance to take soft cuttings from annuals.

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On taking cuttings, yesterday I took cuttings from several Geraniums that I took from work after digging out the summer bedding to prep for the winter bedding arriving in a couple of weeks.
This is a LINK for a vid on how to take Geranium cuttings. This one is mainly for spring cuttings but it will work for late cuttings too… Be aware that you won’t get quite the same results because we are doing it so late!

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I also took a couple of smaller geraniums that didn’t do very well this year. They were generally in good health, they just didn’t do anything. Now normally small plants like this would just get dumped. But I just wanted to prove that sometimes you really can keep hold of them. Sometimes you get specimens that you normally can’t get hold of very easily. They may have obscure colours or shapes or… Well… You get the idea. You can keep those plants and bring them on again next year, but now is your last chance to get them lifted and into a better climate indoors. If the frosts hit them they are done.

But now is also the time to lift and divide many perennials. I haven’t got any perennials that I want to split this year, which is typical seeing as I now have a blog where I could do with getting pics! *le Sigh* B-)
Splitting perennials is actually quite easy for most plants. Very simply, either get two forks push them into the centre of the plants and pull them apart or get a spade and cut them up.
This is a LINK to a BBC Gardeners world vid on dividing herbaceous perennials. Check it out. The only thing you need to know is when the plant flowers, this will denote when you should split them, spring or autumn.

This is me harvesting Teasal seeds

The other thing we can do now to get free stuff is to harvest seeds. The above image is me harvesting Teasal seeds from a plants in one of our parks. These seeds were scattered immediately into the bed where we wanted them to grow, but you can harvest *some* for yourself.

Final thing.
I’m also going to reiterate something I have said a few times on this blog. Please don’t damage the plants if you can avoid it and don’t take ALL the seeds from a plant, leave some for the wildlife, seeds are a very necessary food source for many animals. While I am happy to get free stuff, I don’t like the idea of hurting nature to get it.

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18 thoughts on “‘Tis the season for free stuff!

  1. Well what’s the rule on splitting? I have Lily’s that I split in the spring and I think maybe they would do better getting split now. I so many bare spots in that newer 3 year old garden, that I did split last year but didn’t get as many blooms. Some Lily’s need to be moved to the back and the shorter ones moved to the front of the small bed. Since I live in PA I don’t know as if we have the same growing Zones.

    1. No. But then the UK is a rule until itself!
      Generally bulbs get lifted and reset in autumn. I moved my tiger lillies about a month ago when they finished.
      Ever big problem for lillies is shade… They don’t do well in shade!

      1. You moved your lily’s we leave ours alone, unless splitting them. I guess I’ll have to. I know we plant flower bulbs in the fall for Spring blooms, but we leave them there for years unless sharing some. We have very harsh winters here sometimes.Last winter had below zero weather, the coldest on record.

          1. Oh yeah my vine-ing nasturtiums took over my perennial flower bed but it has so many bare spots from me moving things without letting them double in size first.

  2. Since my mom died my sisters, my nieces and I want to start splitting her perennials. I just don’t know what ones to start on now.

        1. We do. I did say we were a law unto ourselves!
          We benefit from the gulf stream that brings warm water and air up from the equator.
          That is why we have such mild winter

  3. Geraniums are my favourite indoor plants – not just because they’re pretty much the only ones I can grow successfully, but because for me, they help make a house a home. I’ve always wanted a windowsill of snow white ones, but when it comes to it I always choose the ones with pretty markings.

      1. Mine seem to be unscented. I’ll have to look out for the scented ones next year. I have been very happy with the blooms though. I have been cutting them for vases as soon as they show any signs of going to seed. They seem to make quite good cut flowers

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