Gardening podcast red hot pokerSeason 3: Episode 1
Gardening podcast red hot poker. Penny kicks off season three with some supermarket red hot poker bulbs but the packet says they may not flower for a year!
Gardening podcast red hot poker - Transcript
Hello, Penny here today on my garden podcast. What are these? Red hot pokers. Oh, Casper, you're always here, aren't you? Having a little look, so nosy. These creatures, what's going on? Oh! Oh, my God. He's up the palm tree. He literally just went up it. Oh, the dog's now got an old football. I don't know where from, but anyway, it's chaos.
Got my hands on some red hot pokers. I can't be going around doing podcasts. I haven't got my eye in for the season yet. So what are we doing here? Right, we're at the Mediterranean Sun Terrace bed with the aforementioned palm tree, and I'm putting in the ground in the base of the box. Basically, if you remember from season one and season two, I might have mentioned the Mediterranean Sun Terrace hasn't quite swung into action yet, given it's the early days of March, and it's flipping freezing.
But, you know, you can plant and plan, and so we picked these up in a supermarket as you do, and a red hot poker is a vibrant, beautiful thing. It kind of looks like an upside-down pineapple. This one is red and orange. Red hot poker giving that away there.
Planting time, February to April, February to April. Tick check. Not skidding in at the first week of May, which is what I normally do. Late to planting. And then it flowers between July and September. It's about 75 centimetres tall. Disappointingly, not all plants will produce flowers in the first year, but they will in the second year. Plant as soon as possible after purchase.
Haven't quite achieved that. They have actually been in a warm kitchen. So let's open up the box and see what's afoot. And Casper is very interested in the spring. I think animals, well, animals do know it. We know it, don't we? We can smell spring in the air, and the animals are very excited. Joey and Casper are chuffed. I'm in the garden, a bit like Steve, who's whipped out his microphone. He's also chuffed. I'm in the garden, which means he can crack on with my garden podcast season three. What do we call it in this country in the UK? We're calling it Season three. We're calling it Season Three like the Americans might.
So, in midwinter we put a load of the nice compost that we've been developing, composting on this bed. Really nice mulch stuff. But I've just found two avocado stones, which never compost, do they? They just never... I think they'd still be there during a nuclear winter, to be honest, the avocado nut, right?
So open the bag, red hot poker, I'm not promised anything. Actually, it just says £3. So how many did you get? Well, we'll find out. So anyway, it's quite dusty in there, as you'd imagine from a bag that's been sitting in the kitchen for three weeks. And what we've got is some tubers, some tubers with a bit of growth already happening. Wow, that's beautiful. That is really... Well, it's quite an ugly thing.
It looks like something you might make out of pipe cleaners and then put pins in. It looks a bit like a voodoo doll with loads of legs. But those are the roots, and they are pretty chunky coming off the top there. So what I've got is three of those voodoo dolls to put into the ground. Got my trusty trowel, my favourite tool of all time. And I'm gonna dig into that, maybe come across some more avocado and tea bags. We got a lot. I think our compost is mostly tea bags from all the endless cups of tea that we have.
I'm trying to put the legs of the roots downwards as much as I can, but they're a bit curly. They're curling around a bit, but put enough soil on top and it'll all work out, won't it? That's the inexpert element of this podcast that you've come for. Let's just give it a go. Give it a go.
Now I've got a bit of a crisis here. I say crisis. I don't mean that, do I? I mean conundrum. Where I've got roots and plants both growing in the same direction. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna plant them all in because I get the impression that roots and stems are all pretty much the same thing.
It's just when one grows above ground level, it becomes... Oh, I don't know. Please don't write in. Don't write in. Tell me I'm wrong. I already know that. So, anyway, I think these red hot pokers are going to go really nicely in this bed because we've got some grasses and the small miniature pampas grass. And then these beautiful tropical colours of the red hot poker are going to be poking out of the bed at some point, maybe this year, maybe in the next couple of years, although that one I've just put in looks already like it's got the beginnings of that beautiful pokey.
It's like a big cone, upside-down cone shape. It's got the beginnings of one of those poking up already, so that's a pretty easy job to ease back into the garden, and stick some bulbs in. I always thought bulbs were a November thing, a September-October-November thing. But no.
Right, well, we'll just leave it there. Red hot poker is in the ground between February and April. Tick check. Job done. Sit back, have a coffee in the Mediterranean Sun Terrace area when it's warm enough, and watch your garden grow.
How to grow red hot poker plants
- Choose a suitable location: Red hot poker plants thrive in full sun to partial shade. Select a spot in your garden that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight per day.
- Prepare the soil: Red hot pokers prefer well-draining soil. Amend heavy clay or compacted soil by adding organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve drainage and fertility.
- Planting: Dig a hole that is slightly larger than the root ball of the plant. Place the red hot poker in the hole, ensuring that the crown (where the roots meet the stem) is level with the soil surface. Space multiple plants about 2 to 3 feet apart to allow for their mature size.
- Watering: Water the newly planted red hot poker thoroughly after planting to settle the soil. Afterwards, water regularly, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist. However, avoid overwatering, as they prefer slightly drier conditions once established.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plant to help retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.
- Fertilization: Red hot pokers are not heavy feeders. However, you can apply a balanced fertilizer, such as a slow-release granular fertilizer, in spring to provide nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for application rates.
- Maintenance: Remove faded flower spikes to encourage continuous blooming and prevent seed formation. In late winter or early spring, you can trim back the foliage to tidy up the plant before new growth emerges.
- Division: Every few years, red hot pokers benefit from division to maintain their vigor and prevent overcrowding. Lift the plant in early spring or fall, divide the clumps into smaller sections, and replant them in prepared soil.
- Pests and diseases: Red hot pokers are generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can occasionally be affected by aphids, slugs, or snails. Monitor your plants regularly and take appropriate measures if necessary, such as using organic pest control methods.