It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter. The temperature has dropped and it looks like we are in for a cold couple of weeks, with low daytime highs and below freezing temperatures at night. The only plants I’m a little worried about are the salvias grown from seed last year. They haven’t established yet so may be more vulnerable than usual.  Everything else should be just fine. Let the chill be no excuse, it’s time for Six on Saturday – Six things, in the garden, on a Saturday. Could be anything – a flower, a cutting, a job to do, a tool, a pest, an evergreen, anything at all. Join in!

Here are my Six for this week…

1 – Overwintering chillies.  Last year I attempted to keep a couple of chilli plants alive over the winter. I kept them in the unheated greenhouse, it was too cold, they quickly gave up the ghost.  This time around the plants are in the house and relatively warm.  I kept back just two plants, a Habanero and a Hungarian hot wax. Both are showing signs of new growth.  There is still quite a bit of winter to go so no celebrations are warranted just yet. Encouraging though, don’t you think?  If I succeed, I can expect an earlier and bigger crop than from my recently germinated 2019 sowings.

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2 – Slug pellets.  It was announced recently that the nasty blue Metaldehyde pellets will be banned in the UK, certainly for outdoor use.  I have had the same packet for about 5 years, I rarely use them, usually in the greenhouse and only sparingly.  I do sometimes use them outside, so I have been looking for alternatives.  The problem with the blue pellets is that the slug or snail can eat several then they die and can be eaten by other animals, birds or hedgehogs which can be poisoned as a result.  These Sluggo pellets work in a different way. They still kill the slug/snail but it crawls back underground first where it can’t be eaten.  It also means no slimy crime scene around my plants. I’ve not used these before, so I hope they are as effective.

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3 – Crocus bulbs. I did imply some while back that I wouldn’t buy any more spring bulbs for this spring. Predictably enough, I have not managed to stick to that resolution.  I bought 100 each of ‘Pickwick’, a purple flower, and ‘Joan of Arc’, predominantly white. They are sprouting a little, a symptom of the fact that they should have been in the ground for a few months.  I aim to plant them this weekend, ground conditions permitting. I think I’m going to plant most of them at the foot of my new trees.

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4 – Hellebore seedlings. I sowed these almost a year ago. They have been sitting outside in the cold frame since then doing not much.  They are just starting to germinate now, so it just goes to show we should not throw out a seed pot if it doesn’t germinate in the first few months. The seeds were not well labelled, I just have “dark flowers”, which is just fine by me, I wanted some with dark flowers.

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5 – Emerging primrose flowers. I have a love/hate relationship with primroses (or primulas, whatever they are). I don’t object to the flowers, there are few enough of those at this time of year, but I do find the leaves to be ugly.  This particular plant is languishing in a small planter down the side of the house. I have been toying with the idea of replacing the planter so it matches the more recently added green ones. I don’t think I would bother transferring this plant. For now it stays.

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6 – Lingering Calendula ‘snow princess’.  I grew these from seed last spring.  The plants in the back garden were pulled up long ago, but there are a few I planted out on the pavement side of my front garden wall that I had forgotten about. Despite a touch of frost last night, they are still flowering away. Perhaps I should not be surprised, perhaps the clue is in the name! I guess they are more sheltered than those in the main garden.

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Those are my Six for this week, what are yours?  If you’d like to join in, just publish your post and pop a link to it in the comments below. If you also mention my blog in yours that would be splendid. For more details and for other ways to participate, you can read the brief participant guide here.

I hope you have a good gardening weekend. I will be chilly here but I have plenty to do. Don’t forget to check back in during the day as more links get added.

I’ll be back next Saturday with another #SixOnSaturday

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