Monday, 15 November 2010

geranium surgery started feeling bad for the geraniums on one side of my house.  They got bad rust during the winter which made them lose a lot of leaves.  Then as soon as it warmed up a bit they dried out.  The soil in the bed is awful builder's infill, almost pure sand.  I've tried putting compost on top but sand just makes it disappear.  Between the hot afternoon sun on the house bricks and the dry soil, I was very worried about them surviving the summer.  So I decided to perform a bit of geranium surgery. dug each one out partially or completely and dug out four buckets of sandy soil.  As you can see here, even after all that rain patches were still dry.  Some of the sand was compacted down very solid into those clumps.  I replaced the sand with compost from the bin (full of worms!) and a bit more of the manury soil I've got leftover. the geraniums each got a haircut - all the flowers and buds came off plus a few branches.  Some of them lost a lot of roots and are looking wilty today but they all got a dose of seasol to help them along.  And the weather this week is perfect for their recovery - low 20s and cloudy with drizzle.  My only worry is that the rust will keep eating at them in the wet.

I've also planted a pair of sunflowers in the bed this year, at the base of those two stakes.  I'm hoping they'll cast a bit of shade to give them a bit of shelter this summer.  I'm just hoping my geraniums recover!