Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bog garden finished–and it will be Drosera binata central!

Yay! I managed to get the last bog garden all planted up, way ahead of schedule! It contains a couple of Sarracenia leucophylla and mixed varieties of S. flava. Here’s how the Sarracenia growing area looks now everything is done:


Usually, repotting takes a long time, but the weekend of rain had softened the peat in my potted Sarracenia up enough that I didn’t need to hose the soil off – it fell away nicely on its own. This made life a LOT easier and filling the bog a lot faster. I also really didn’t have that many plants to go through, either, and a lot of them were recent acquisitions that did not need to be divided. I also found plenty of good photo opportunities to update the repotting and division page with different types of overgrown rhizomes from the few really dense plants from my collection that I still had in pots. I hope to re-work the repotting and division page during the week and upload it to the blog sometime over the weekend.

I also decided to make the very best use of my 20 cm pots of Drosera binata for the new bog. These pots held two clones of D. binata: Marston Mill and Golden Giant – both from the now defunct Living Traps. They had produced large, beautiful clumps of dewy leaves. Rather than leave them clumped, I thought it would be nice to have them all through the bog. I remember Allen Lowrie told those of us at the 2009 ICPS conference in Sydney that, if you want lots and lots of binata in a hurry, you merely needed to take a very sharp knife and divide the pot’s contents into eighths (I would do this once a season, tops). This would make lots of root cuttings that would, in turn, make more plants.


So, I took the serrated knife I use for gardening and cut the roots of both pots of binata into 10 cm lengths.

binata 2

I managed to fill a 20 cm pot with root cuttings from the two original pots! Nice!

loads of binata cuttings

The cuttings were then spread liberally over the bog surface. I then finished the bog off by covering it in pine needle mulch. I made this a la Carl Mazur by running pine needles I collected last year through our leaf blower a few times. The impellor shredded the needles into a perfect mulch. I then watered everything in to let the peat and mulch settle, but did not soak the soil so much that the peat was sitting in water. The mulch will protect the binata root cuttings and should see the bog carpeted in hundreds if not thousands of small plants come October-November. It should look intense!

The trick with a newly planted bog like this one is to not soak it to saturation until the plants have had a good month or two of growth. By all means keep it wet, but not waterlogged, in the meantime. This allows the plants to put out new roots and stabilise the soil. By wet, I mean the peat is thoroughly hydrated. By waterlogged, I mean so much water goes in that the peat becomes like oatmeal or porridge. If this happens, the plants will become top heavy and fall over because their root systems are not completely established yet. This will delay the time needed for the bog to establish – I found this out the hard way with the first three bogs! If you are patient and keep things a little drier, the bog will establish much faster.

Until next time, happy growing!