ACCENT PLANTING AND CARE
Purchasing your Accent plant
If you are purchasing from a supplier online make sure you are happy with the choice. Accent plants come in many sizes, from mini Hostas of only a few millimetres high to ferns and grass’s that grow tall and have a wide spread. Sometimes it is best to visit a garden centre and have a good look at their plants or visit your nearest bonsai centre who will guide you through the path of accents.
When you receive your plant’s, or get them home
Open your parcel and soak the roots for at least 15 mins, then depending on the plant prepare to pot them.
Using two buckets fill both with water. One completely the other about fifty percent depending on how many accents you are Potting up. Your soil mix needs to be made up of the following. 75% good potting compost and 25% of grit or perlite for drainage. Mix the soil in the bucket with 50% water until you have a very wet mud like soil. Prepare your chosen pot by covering the drainage hole with mesh. Put some of the prepared soil into the pot then carefully plant your accent. When completed immerse into the water, this will remove any access air bubbles and unwanted soil. Do not use any fertiliser for the first few weeks then feed with a diluted feed during active growth (Spring to Summer) this will help your plant get established better.
Slug and snail repellent (The Garlic Recipe)
Get two large Garlic bulbs place in a bag get either a rolling 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 blanched. Let it cool best to do this outside it does smell a bit. As soon as it has cooled down get a pair of stockings and place them over the saucepan and drain of the liquid into a jar the stockings help to filter out the small pieces of garlic. Now you have a concentrated liquid of garlic. With this liquid add two tablespoons into 10 litres of water use a watering can water this over the leaves of your plants, best to do it in late afternoon after the strong midday sun has passed over. Spray your plants every 14 days during active growth i.e. from the first shoots starting to emerge to late August-September.
I have found this mixture can be bought readymade called “Garlic Barrier”. Totally
Organic it does no harm to the air or soil, it improves the vigour of your plants and gives the leaves a good sheen which also helps build up good root systems as if the leaves are healthy they can produce more food to put back into their roots therefore producing more “eyes” so your plants will bulk up better. It also means you do not have to spray nasty chemicals so much only if you get a sudden outbreak of mildew or botrytis that you would need to spray with a fungicide. I still use commercial grade slug pellets especially before the plants start to emerge as the garlic only works on the foliage, it leaves a nasty taste for the slugs they will bypass them for a plant not treated with garlic. With slug pellets, I only use 20% of what I used before using garlic.
During the end of September or the first two weeks of October (before the first frosts) your accent plants must be prepared for the winter period. Remove any dead leaves or small weeds that may be growing in the pots. If you have a greenhouse put all the plants in for the winter period. I find bringing them down close to the house protects them. You may wish to purchase a small polythene plant cover these are widely available. Bring the most temperamental indoors on a window sill or shed window. Do not bring them out until late spring after the last frost and the daytime temperature is above 12c and night time no lower than 7c. During the winter keep all your plants damp but not WET.
Once the temperature has risen and the last frosts have long gone it’s time to put your accents outside again. After a few weeks, you can split and divide certain plants into new pots and soil. The year starts again. GOOD LUCK.
Potting and splitting plants
A FEW ACCENTS TO VIEW