Thursday, 30 May 2013

Bay-dream believer

I can be a bit of a dreamer. 

This character trait has led me into all manner of weird and wonderful situations throughout my life. In the past, I tended to get embarrassed, but now I think (hope) it simply gives my friends endless crazy stories on which to gorge and be relieved at their own sanity.

In the garden, however, being a dreamer is definitely a good quality. It may lead you to experiment and try things no other sane / experienced gardener would, or it may simply force you into action.

I know a lot of people who either don't have a garden, have a very small sun-denied patio or like me rent their home and have limited motivation to invest time and money. With that in mind, I've been plotting (ha) my next move and what I would like to take with me.

The other day, I decided to grow my own bay tree. At £30 a pop, or an eyewatering £7.13 + £2.88 for 4g of 'organic' leaves, there is no way I'm going to succumb to that particular scam. I'm lucky enough to have two established bay trees in the garden here and use the leaves constantly in cooking. 

Having no clue on where to start, I took the lazy option and found this video:

How to take a Bay Tree cutting (click me) 

Bay cuttings in the round pots
Normally I'd experiment but I wanted a bit more certainty, as this could be my only chance. 

Having followed the video instructions, I put my cuttings in the cold frame. I didn't use any potions to encourage the root growth, nor any special compost. Just standard compost in a pot.

Two weeks on and they still look alive if not necessarily growing yet. I'm guessing it might take a while for roots to form, if they ever do. Fingers crossed.

Next up, the apple and pear tree, to start my future orchard...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the cost of Bay. I've got four small-ish plants that I picked up reasonably cheap (£3.00 each?) from a garden centre and potted into terracotta containers, but I think they probably need to pot them on into something larger, as they're not really developing as well as I'd like. And now you've pointed out that video, I'm going to take some cuttings (although maybe from my neighbour's bay plant, which is about four feet tall, three wide and covered in huge amounts of leaf).

One thing to bear in mind - Bay is a Mediterranean plant, so a harsh frost can kill it - I lost a couple that way a winter or two ago - so it might be an idea to over-winter them in a greenhouse or on a windowsill indoors. (Although I'd do some more research on that, I'm just passing on my observations...)

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.