Part 2 Of Gardening Techniques.

By: Gambo Navi


Here is part Two of my mini series on gardening techniques.

Dibbing In:
Dibbing in is a simple and quick planting technique compared to using a trowel. The conventional dibber is usually a stout wooden or metal spike bought from a garden shop or made at home from an old spade handle. These dibbers are for big seedlings. For pot culture and for smaller seedlings outdoors use a pencil or dowel. The tip of your dibber should be rounded rather than sharply pointed.

Dibbing in (or dibbling) involves inserting the dibber sufficiently deeply into the soil so the roots will fit comfortably. Place the plant into the hole and firm the ground by re-inserting the dibber point about 1 - 2 inches away from the stem. Move the dibber towards the plant in order to press the soil all around the roots.

This is certainly an excellent technique for planting vegetables which have been raised in a seed bed. Brassicas, like Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts etc, are popular examples. It is also trusted for planting cuttings, but in all cases you must ensure that the hole is no deeper than necessary. The role of dibbing in is limited - use a trowel and never a dibber for large size planting material like bulbs or tubers, and donít use a dibber in heavy, wet soil.

Disbudding:
In the main, flower buds in the garden are allowed to grow and open naturally to provide the maximum display. For exhibitors however, and others interested in the size of individual blooms, the flower stems are disbudded. This entails pinching out side buds the minute they can be handled, leaving the central bud to grow to be a sizable specimen to catch the eye of the judge or earn the envy of your neighbours. Chrysanthemums, Dahlias and Carnations are frequently treated this way for show purposes. Many Hybrid Tea Roses produce a lot more than one flower bud at the end of each shoot. With this flower it is nearly always desirable to seek the maximum size, so disbudding of side shoots is advisable. Delay taking off side buds if you want to keep back flowering for the day of the show. If the Rose variety produces very full blooms which spoil badly in wet weather, reverse the process and pinch out the terminal bud so that the side buds develop.

Earthing Up:
There are a number of reasons for earthing up, this means the drawing up of soil towards and all around the stems. Potatoes are earthed up to prevent the tubers being exposed to light. When the haulm is about 9 inches high a draw hoe is used to pile loose soil against the stems to form a flat-topped ridge. The greens (Broccoli, Kale, Brussels Sprouts etc) are earthed up for a different reason - soil is drawn up around the stems of well developed plants to improve anchorage against high winds.

The stems of Celery and Leek are blanched by earthing up. This begins with Celery when it is about 1 foot high - with Leeks it is done in phases, the height being increased a little bit at a time by drawing dry soil all around the stems.

Earthing up is vital on the vegetable plot but it has a place in the herbaceous border. Shoots might appear prematurely during a mild spell in early spring, it is advisable to draw loose soil over them with a hoe so as to avoid damage by severe frosts which may come later.

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I have been involved with the Do-It-Yourself and Gardening industry for over 30 years. So I think now is the time to spread the word a bit about Home Repaircontractors within companies operating in the UK.

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