I like to review the cuttings beds each month as it helps me understand what works and what needs to be improved. So it is useful that Julie at Peonies and posies also writes about her wonderful cutting garden at the end of the month and this prompts me to do the same.
As I’ve mentioned in almost every post this month, it has been hotter than usual and without any rain until last Friday. Since then the days have continued hot, never below 34°C but the evenings and nights have been cooler. In the early morning there has even been some moisture on the ground and in the air which gives the plants some relief.
The Cosmos in this bed are actually self seeded from last years crop, I left them because they seemed to be stronger plants than my freshly sown seeds but I don’t think they are producing as many flowers; the dark mix Cosmos from Sara Raven have produced copious amounts of flowers, such that many have actually not even been picked but added to the compost heap as they have begun producing seed.
You can see a seedhead of the Echinacea that I planted out last year, I should have picked them so that they produced more flowers, I’ll do that now and hope for a second flush later in the month.
I am a little disappointed with the Rudbeckia but I think they need richer soil and this bed, in particular needs the addition of more compost; it also needs to have raised sides to contain more soil.
What I have learned this month (year) is that the plants would be much better planted in blocked rather than rows. I know why I have planted in rows, it is because that is how the irrigation tubes are laid; the beds are 1.2 m wide and there are four tubes, I might just add another length of tube to each bed to make it easier to plant in staggered rows across the bed.
This year I have put in bamboo canes with pea netting stretched across at 2 heights, this has been good at keeping the plants upright, although it makes weeding and even picking slightly more difficult but is certainly worth doing.
Have a lovely weekend and good gardening!