Car­ing for pan­sies

Amateur Gardening - - A Gardener’s Miscellany -

Pro­vide moist but well-drained soil. Add or­ganic mat­ter to light and heavy soils. In wet ar­eas, plant into slightly raised beds or use con­tain­ers.

Grow in full sun or par­tial shade. Sun en­cour­ages com­pact growth but where soil is dry and baked a lit­tle shade will help with mois­ture re­ten­tion.

Pan­sies are not long-last­ing, so re­place fre­quently us­ing dif­fer­ent sites or fresh com­post. Raise from seed sown in spring for sum­mer flow­ers, or sum­mer for au­tumn-tospring blooms.

Fill, press lightly and wa­ter finely to sow onto a smooth, moist com­post sur­face. Cover very lightly with com­post and place in a cool spot to ger­mi­nate. Af­ter ger­mi­na­tion, trans­plant singly to 3in (8cm) pots and from there, plant out.

Avoid plac­ing in beds ex­posed to con­tin­u­ous wet, windy weather. This seems to en­cour­age pansy leaf-spot and pansy sick­ness – fun­gal dis­eases that can per­sist in the soil. Only buy healthy plants.

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