Ranunculas

Branching Out

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Given that the corms on the capillary mat were showing signs of mold I elected to plant them out in 4" pots right away. I suspect that once they are actively growing in the soil the mold will no longer be an issue. The tray of pots was set close to the house under cover of the eaves, so the corms will remain moist but not wet if it rains. It will also be harder for mice to find the corms (hopefully).

And one of our neighbours mentioned that she found a couple of robust ranunculas in her garden when she was cleaning up the flower beds the other day; they had made it through exceptionally cold weather in January. These 'tender' corms may well be a lot tougher than we give them credit for.
 

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Branching Out

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The 40 Purple Jean ranunculas that I soaked two weeks ago will be hitting the sundeck for some fresh cool air and bright light, so they can green up. Large 4-cells were sufficient to contain these tiny corms, and I will give them a layer of row cover for extra protection as well. I believe that Purple Jean is an Amandine cultivar; they are supposed to be more heat tolerant, but with a slower growth habit than what is typical.

My main garden task for today will be to plant out the bins of Italian ranunculas that I started on January 24th. They have lots of healthy green foliage, and from what I have read they will suffer if held too long before planting them out. I have earmarked a nice big flower bed for them, near the street at my folks' place so passers by will be able to enjoy the blossoms come May. I just need to scratch in some dry organic fertilizer, plant them, water them, and then walk away. Dave Dowling, who manages commercial flower operations, says many growers make the rookie mistake of watering their ranunculas too much early in their growth cycle-- which is not a good idea. Once they begin actively growing and producing flowering stems then need ample water, but not before. They are a Mediterranean plant and accustomed to fairly dry conditions.
 

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Branching Out

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It would appear that a critter got in to one of my ranunculas bins last night, and now there is a bit of a mess to clean up. I should have covered the bins with row cover to keep them out; there was even a piece of row cover hanging on a chair right next to the bins. The pesky varmint may have done me a favour though. I was going to wait another week to plant these out, but clearly the roots are well-developed, and the green shoots are ready to take off growing as well. I think these ranunculas are ready to go in the garden, so I will try to get most of them planted today. 🌞
 

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