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A better way of spending an evening ...


By hywel


Last night, (and several nights recently) instead of enduring the usual trash on the tv, we have been watching videos of various gardening programmes that I’ve taped over the years … and last night I found two old ones in the cupboard under the stairs, that I’d bought a long time ago, in The Works.
One was on Fuchsias and the other on Pelargoniums.
They lasted about an hour each and we enjoyed both.

On the Fuchsia one they talked about cross breeding varieties, and I thought I’d like to try it this year, just for curiosity.

On the Pelargonium one, Anne Swithinbank showed so many different types – all very beautiful … including a succulent one (which I WANT)
And a man (can’t remember his name) showed how to take cuttings …
and we all know how to do that, but he spoke of rooting hormone powder.

He said he wouldn’t use it on Zonal Pelargoniums, nor Ivy Leaf Pelargoniums,
But he said it was almost essential to use on Regal Pelargoniums, because they are so difficult to root.

Thinking about it, I have never had much success with Regal Pelargonium cuttings, but I have never used rooting powder on them.
In fact I never use it at all.
Maybe this year I’ll try it with a Regal Pelargonium, just to see …
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts/information/experience of using it ….

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That sounds like a good Saturday nights viewing to me Hywel....I totally agree, Friday and Saturday nights telly are rubbish.
I've often used hormone rooting powder but not on pelargoniums as they are usually very easy to root anyway. I used it last year on Hebe cuttings and it worked very well....all of them striking within a few weeks. Also used it on my cotoneaster cuttings earlier this year. The pots are by a sheltered wall and hopefully come end of March I will see new growth coming. Ian always used it when he took Fuchsia cuttings too and did very well with them.
I'm not sure I know what Regal Pelargoniums are? If they are the very tall variety, like the one a friend gave me last year, I took cuttings in late spring and just popped them round the edge of the pot it was in. They all have done very well too.

28 Feb, 2016


I have some old gardening video tapes. Ones which I recorded like " square foot gardening " and "the victory garden" and some origional videos. Trouble is that my video player went kaput years ago and I cannot find a tape player in the electronic stores.... All they sell now are the DVD players. Time marches on. P.S. I find the gardening shows made a while ago are much more informative than the ones they have now and the way they quick edit their shows these days makes my head spin.

28 Feb, 2016


Hywel, I've often used a rooting a powder when taking cutting and have found in the past that those where rooting powder has been used usually strike quicker and stronger. When I had my fuchsias in the past I always increase my stock this way.

Loosestrife2, if you take your tapes to a good photographer shop they can often transfer your tapes onto DVD for you and it's usually quite a reasonable cost.

28 Feb, 2016


Professor Iain Stewart (Geologist) is improving Saturday
evenings t/v Hywel, channel 4 or 9. Hope he continues for a few more weeks, although I could manage well without the background music - its that lot in the editing room adding it on. They get thousands of complaints from deaf people every week. The RNID keep complaining too.
They have toned it down a bit now, but I would prefer geographic programmes without it. Think Prof.Stewart should be able to control the sound side of it.
He certainly knows about Planet Earth !

28 Feb, 2016


Regal Pelargoniums are the ones with big showy flowers Janey. I've never been able to take cuttings of them. They always die.
I never use rooting powder but I usually have a fair amount of success with Fuchsias and other shrubs.
I hope your Cotoneaster cuttings do well :)

I agree Loosestrife, the old programmes were much better.
I've got a player that plays both DVDs and videos - very handy :)

Waddy I'm glad you get nice rooted cuttings. I may try using it this year.

I've seen some of his programmes Diane. He's very good.
I don't like background music on programmes either. It's unnecessary and irritating.
It is also irritating in shops and cafes :( You can't have a nice coffee anywhere these days without some noise blaring at you in the background :(

28 Feb, 2016


And then I thought that the blaring music everywhere (including parking lots) is endemic to North America. Sometimes I just walk out of the store because I cannot stand it....that how loud it is.
I also like to watch nature programs Hywel.

29 Feb, 2016


No Klahanie, I think it is all over the world
:( although we haven't got it in parking lots here yet. I hope that will never happen.

29 Feb, 2016


I've never used rooting powder on Pelargoniums either Hywel, but have never been really successful, so maybe thats why ! We have two dvd's of Geoff Hamiltons Cottage Gardens and Paradise Gardens which we watch every so often !

29 Feb, 2016


I use it for most cuttings,Hywel,but not on Pelargoniums..I can't get the Regals to strike either , so I gave them up as a bad job,and stick with the Zonals now..I probably could grow cuttings without the rooting powder,but it's always been more successful when I do..

29 Feb, 2016


Back to the picnics Hywel ! I nearly jump out of my socks when somebody uses their pocket phone in Sainsburys, and suddenly starts talking in a loud voice, as my hearing aids amplify the voice. I think they are talking to me !

Didnt realise the Iain Stewart programmes had been on before. The way he strides over fields of mud is amazing.

29 Feb, 2016


Also trying to cross some Fuchsias this year planted seed I saved in about November and had quite a good germination about fifty seedlings but gradually have dwindled down to about nine have found they are very slow growing.
Going to try some more seed now found they germinate better if you don't cover let them germinate in the light let me know how you get on perhaps if you do better you can share a few tips.

29 Feb, 2016


I'm glad to read that so many of our members feel the way I do about the background music in various programmes.
It's so unnecessary. Sometimes I get so irritated that I turn the sound off, but then I have to make do with the subtitles. I wish we could have the choice, music or no music. I wonder how many would opt for it if we did. Of course it would have to be recorded separately. Perhaps the sound recordists would be out of their jobs.

29 Feb, 2016


I would happily watch that gentle series about 'The Victorian Kitchen Garden' all over again.
There ought to be a 'gardening' channel just for all of us!

2 Mar, 2016


A few years ago,there was a Gardening Channel on Sky,Chris....but they took it off.. it was a free one,so maybe you had to start paying for it.

2 Mar, 2016


Hi Hywel if all else fails try using honey to dip the cutting into.

2 Mar, 2016


That is a clever idea, honey. I had forgotten all about the Root tone, that is what must be the matter! I recall that when we lived in London, the music in the shops was unbelievable loud. Then the USA followed and one had to leave it was so deafening. It does not encourage buying but the young here are all going to be deaf soon as they turn it up too high!

3 Mar, 2016


Part of the reason music is played loud in these venues is that music listening bypasses the reasoning part of the brain and goes directly to the emotional part. You hear happy music and instantly feel happy, you hear sad music and the same thing happens emotionally you feel sad, again almost instantaneously. The thinking part of it as to why you feel these emotions comes later. If I have a clothing store upbeat loud music will be played to induce impulse buying in the younger customers. Some restuarants will play the same type of music to get the customers to eat faster and get out more quickly for faster table turnover. On the down side those kids cracking their eardrums on their MP3's playing music all day and night don't afford themselves a chance to reason or think at all. Control music for the masses and you can aptly control a society or culture, one can find many examples of this. As for the tv shows, take away the loud music so you can start to think properly and you will come to the conclusion that they are poorly written and produced with little content.

3 Mar, 2016


Thank you all for your comments.

I shall try honey Linda. I've never thought of it but I do know it has many positive properties

Peterathome, I'll let you know how I get on. It's nice to know you were successful

3 Mar, 2016


Very interesting Hywel, my OH does all the cuttings, have passed the information over to him......regarding background music, a right royal pain and so un-necessary, when trying to concentrate on a play or film, we usually resort to the sub-titles these days.....

4 Mar, 2016


Thank you. I wonder if your OH uses it.

5 Mar, 2016


No he doesn't ......

5 Mar, 2016


A lovely blog Hywel. I agree about the unnecessary music background. We watched the Murray brothers playing the doubles match this afternoon and ended up watching with subtitles. The noise is outrageous. Oh for the days when you could hear a pin drop. I have never used hormone rooting powder on geraniums but I do use it on shrub cuttings. I must try the honey.

5 Mar, 2016


Thank you both. I never use rooting powder either but may try it this year. I will also try honey.

6 Mar, 2016


Very interesting blog, Hywel! What a hornet's nest you have opened up with your comments on loud music!!! Even so I agree with you! I get especially annoyed with the monotonous "music" they put on the children's games pages. We have our two gkids round to spend the day with us on Saturdays & they like to play a few games on the internet but I often have to ask them to turn down the sound - or I do myself! Not principally for the loudness, easily controlled with the sound button, but because of the terrible repetitiveness of it!

As we watch VERY little TV, (I only watch the News on BBC Breakfast between 8 & 9 am every day), we are not particularly aware of the loud music they put on the shows!

As for using rooting hormone powder I've not used it for so many years I'd practically forgotten the stuff even existed!!! I've rooted all my cutting for so many years on there own I don't see the need for it. It will speed up rooting & make a better rooting system but I don't use it any more. I did use it during the the years I lived at home & worked in the UK till I went to Spain in 1972 but I not sure if I used it while living in Spain though I continued to take cutting of everything!

I have no trouble getting Regal Pelargoniums to root without rooting hormone! I've successfully rooted them on many occasions!

I like the idea of using honey for rooting cutting! As I have a honey & lemon tea EVERY day for breakfast (for over 30 years!) it would be a very easy thing to do! I'd read about over the years but it had never occurred to me to try it!

7 Mar, 2016


Thanks for your comment Balcony.

It was Diane Bulley who first mentioned loud music. I don't know why. Then everyone else seems to have followed.

I had also forgotten about rooting powder until I watched that video. I used to use it sometimes with varying amounts of success, but haven't done so for years.
I will try using honey this year.

7 Mar, 2016


I apologise for commenting on the 'musak' Hywel but it is so prevalent that I am grateful I can escape in to the garden for some peace to pursue worthwhile activities like propagating favourite plants. My most successes come from taking cuttings of 'Buxus'. I use rooting powder with them and it works well. I took some cuttings of climbing roses two years ago. They seemed to be making progress with leaves appearing then they seemed to die off before the leaves opened fully. I have left them in the pot in the hope that there are some healthy roots which will allow the roses to flourish. I tried some cuttings in the ground alongside the parent plant but nothing came of them. It is interesting to learn by doing.

8 Mar, 2016


It's all right Scotsgran. I joined in with it myself.

I've got lots of Buxus cuttings but I didn't use rooting powder. I'm glad it worked for you.
With rose cuttings I plant them very deeply and usually have some success.
I'm going to try honey this year ... we learn from experience.

8 Mar, 2016


How true Hywel. I have just been to the SRGC meeting in Edinburgh. Our speaker was Kit Strange from Kew talking about growing bulbs. She was quite open that often they learn by trial and error which is a great comfort to us amateurs. She also advised looking at your plants every day and really get to know them. They will tell us what they need if we get to know them well. She also gave us a good tip on growing primulas. She found self sown seedlings often did better than seed she harvested and sowed in pots. Now she allows them to self sow in to the sand in the plunge beds and then grows the resulting seedlings in pots.

8 Mar, 2016


Getting to know our plants is a good idea. I think they tell us what they need in their own way but we must be able to 'listen' to them.
I have never had any success with Primula seeds although I have tried many times. I wish mine would self seed in the garden.
What if I tried sowing some in little pots of sand, and putting those near the parent plants ... I wonder if it would work. Maybe I'll try it this year.

9 Mar, 2016


Remember to tell us of the results.

9 Mar, 2016


I will :)

9 Mar, 2016

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