Hosta Parade

I think I have another addiction 🙈

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Hostas, Garlic and Slugs

Last year I had a reasonably slug free hosta experience but my little minis are raised up on a stand avoiding the ground loving slug.
I was chatting with Stephen aka The Bonsai Baker (also known to blog once a year 😉 ) He adopted the use of a home-made garlic spray this year and is raving about the results. He got the recipe from Ian Scroggy up at Bali Hai Nursery here in Northern Ireland. Stephen says that it smelly to make but it’s only for a few hours but the results are amazing. He uses the ice cube tray method and sprays once a month which works for him. Just don’t get the cubes mixed up when you go to add ice to your drink! Anyway, below is Bali Hai’s recipe for them. Give it a go, I am.
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The Garlic Recipe
 Get two large Garlic bulbs place in a plastic bag get either a roller pin or hammer and crush the garlic the bag helps to hold the small crushed pieces together.  Once finely crushed add contents to two pints of boiling water let it boil for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic looks like it is blanched.  Let it cool best to do this outside it does smell a bit.  As soon as it is cooled get an old pair of stockings and place them over the saucepan and drain off the liquid into a jar the stockings help to filter out the small garlic pieces.  Now you have a concentrated liquid of garlic.  With this liquid put two tablespoons into your watering can about two gallon size or 10 litres and with a fine spray rose on your watering can water this over the leaves of your hostas best to do it in later afternoon after the strong midday sun has passed over.  Spray your plants every 14 days during active growth ie from the first shoots starting to emerge to late August-September. You can also pour your garlic concentrate into ice cube holders and freeze it that way it cuts down on the smell and just use 2  ice cubes to 10 litres of water.
Try making your own garlic spray and just do one or two plants to start with so as you can see the difference with the Hostas that you sprayed and ones you left alone.  Within a month you will see a good difference.  I know the smell puts people off making their own but it is worth it I can assure you.  Make sure when spraying the plants that the leaves are dry so as the spray will stay on the leaves and the liquid will dry on thus giving the protection.  I only spray every 14 days but weekly would be even better.  “Garlic Barrier” also do a granule form that you can mix in with the compost I tried this on 100 pots of Hostas but did not get the same results as I got from the liquid sprays but this was only a small scale trial it might work for you and there is hardly any smell of the granules.

Splitting Hostas

On Tuesday Stephen came to my garage to help me wade through my usual Spring splitting of accents plants. I’m trying to build a nice collection and always like to have spares to sell and swap. A few weeks back I posted about hostas and a blog follower requested that I cover how I split them. This is it 🙂

Stephen hard at work.

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A tray full of Soldanella ready for a tidy up.

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Some of the recently potted accents.

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This one clump of hosta yielded seven plants.

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This one was next, ‘Rock Island Line’, originally purchased at Bali Hai Nursery here in Northern Ireland. I have a marking system, white name label, pink label if it’s my stock plant and blue if I reckon it’s ready to split.

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Shake off the top dressing of grit. and pop it out of the pot.

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A shake out can get rid of most of the lose potting mix.

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Then carefully start to tease apart the root mass, in some cases a sharp knife can be used to split down between two shoots.

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Split in half, but not finished yet.

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Split further…

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and again…

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and the five plants separated..

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potted up in fresh mix

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and top dressed with a layer of grit to keep the weeds at bay.

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This one is back as stock plant.

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This one was selected as worthy of being potted up as an accent. The three shoots will allow for it to bulk out quickly.

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A little root pruning can be done, just as in bonsai. This can help reduce the leaf size of the plant compared to being grown in open ground.

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A little mix in the bottom of the pot.

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Placed in pot and filled around the edges with mix.

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And the finished result, label added so I can keep track of what varieties I have potted up. Like the pot, this one by Will Baddelely, obtained as part of a swap with Chris Royal. Cheers Chris 😉

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This is a great time to split, however I have had great success splitting in July as well with absolutely no issues with the plants being in leaf.

Anyone interesting in swapping, or even buying a few, drop me an email via the Contact Me tab at the top.

Hostas Baby!

Yes! Been waiting patiently for signs of Spring so I can assess what accents have made it through the Winter months. A good few of my mini hostas are showing signs of growth now. I can feel some splitting coming on.

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Hosta – Mouse Ears

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Hot Hostas

Well they will be warmer in their new home with Jose in Tenerife 🙂

Click on image for Jose’s blog post

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Accent of the Day – Hosta Lemon & Lime

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Bali Hai Haul

As promised, this is the haul of plants that I got yesterday at Bali Hai Nursery. Mostly Hosta and Rhodohypoxis, but a few other oddities thrown in as well. You will notice one that is rather large for an accent, that’s going below my display bench, I just couldn’t resist the leaf colour.

Interesting comment that now is actually a good time to split hostas. Stephen and I always did this in Spring as growth emerges although that is seemingly a good time to trim the roots on hostas to keep them small leafed.

Bali Hai

When you here the words Bali Hai some of you will automatically think of South Pacific 🙂

However, if you are into your Accent plants you should be thinking of this Bali Hai.

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I had the pleasure of visiting the nursery today along with the Bonsai Baker and his good lady wife.

The owner Ian Scroggy, always makes you welcome and we had plenty of time to look around the old Nursery and the new one too. It’s a bit of hosta overload but there is also a stack of other interesting and unusual plants there that can be adapted to accent use. Here are some photos that I snapped there today.

Got a rather nice haul of plants today. Will share these with you tomorrow. Red wine now open and calling 😉

Accent of the Day – Hosta Gingee

Had this variety for ages and is well suited to accent pot culture. I have only just had it identified as Gingee by Bali Hai Nursery.

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