Over the last few weeks we have managed to transplant about 5,000 Ash seedlings a further 200 Hawthorn and Cherry! The Hawthorn and Cherry have had less survival rates but the strongest Ash have been very successful. There is so many variants why some have worked and others not, erratic temperatures, transplanting techniques, the seedling itself or just some survive and some don’t!! Anyhow any we get to grow is more than if we didn’t try at all….
The Hazel have finally starting to pop through which is brilliant as I was starting to loose hope that any were going to germinate. The Oak have also started to appear with the first few big enough to transplant into the rootrainers.
The next batch of seedlings that will be ready for transplanting in a week or so is Birch! Absolutely delighted to get this to germinate as I wasn’t successful last year at all. This year I went to great lengths to do all sorts of experimentations of soaking seed, not soaking and planting with no prep and another batch under plastic. And all of them have germinated and all at the same time so there was no noticeable differences to either batch. I spend nearly every morning staring at seed trays looking for any sign of life, below is a picture to see if you can spot the wee seedlings, once you do you will see hundreds of them! You can just imagine how excited I was when I saw them the other morning!
March has seen a burst of growth at our tree nursery and we are madly trying to keep up! The trees that have all looked completely dead over the winter are suddenly uncurling their leaves magically practically overnight. It is very exciting to see spring life…
The harsh winter weather and the inadequate soil condition of our outdoor growing beds has seen our Scots Pine, Alder and Rowan to be flattened and the soil being washed away exposing the roots. Over the last few weeks we have been madly transplanting them into rootrainers and move them into the polytunnel to save them all.
Saving the Scots Pine…
Now we have the outdoor beds becoming empty after our transplanting, we are now, when the weather allows, digging seaweed into the soil and going to leave it for a year to hopefully improve the condition. Along with finally creating a compost bin with a mixture of leaves, seaweed and soil.
The hard work does not stop there. Inside the polytunnel the seeds that were planted at the beginning of the month are more than ready to be transplanted from their seed trays into rootrainers.
On the first picture we have trays of germinating Ash seed on the 27th March and then the second picture the same trays on the 1st of April – I am amased by the dramatic growth in just 5days! They are all now at a crucial stage to get them transplanted before they become to big. Thankfully we now have a full team of volunteers for the season working hard to keep up….