Hooters Hall

Spring is coming

It was a gorgeous day in the Fens today and it really felt as if Spring as on the way. There are Snowdrops in our wood and the trees are in bud. This was the view across our paddocks this afternoon.

I spent the day in the Polytunnel planting some Sweet Chestnuts. One of our long term projects is to increase the size of our wood and expand the tree species that we have growing on the smallholding. Sweet Chestnuts will provide both a wood and nut crop. Rather than buying in trees I like to grow the first batch from seed then take cuttings. I get all my tree seed from Tree Seeds Online  the seeds come with clear instructions and I’ve had good germination rates.

I’ve started  using deep tomato pots from The Garden Superstore for any trees with a deep tap root. The pots I’ve planted the Sweet Chestnuts in are 26cm deep which should be more than deep enough and being square they take up less space.

As well as planting my Sweet Chestnuts I re-potted the Alder and Staghorn Sumac that I grew from seed last year. I’ve got about 30 of each which isn’t bad for a few pounds, if you’ve got the time, space and patience growing from seed is very economical. I also planted on a few Lavender plants and Hollyhocks that have been overwintering in the Polytunnel and needed a bit more space.

Next weekend I’ll be sorting out my Sweet Peppers that are in the propagator most of them have germinated

Here’s a picture of the Sweet Chestnuts in their long square pots, the Staghorn Sumac, Alder and the Sweet Peppers.

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I’m going to be growing some other trees from seed this year Walnut, Olive and Oak. I think the Olive will be the most challenging. A lot of tree seeds need to undergo Stratification before they will germinate. This means simulating winter temperatures and is most easily done using the fridge. Olive seeds also need  to undergo scarification which is a process designed to make the testa (seed coat) more permeable to water and gases (and thus more likely to germinate).

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