Friday, 16 December 2016


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

At this time of year (Winter) certain plants really shine, and Holly is one of them. With fantastic spiky evergreen foliage and stunning berries, Holly is a sure fire winter winner. It looks so festive and fabulous no wonder it is still so popular. 

If you want to save some money, and have a little patience, you could grow holly from seed. You can collect berries from late autumn and right through the winter.  Pick the berries by hand, removing all twigs and separating berries from the bunch. You can store your berries in a cool, dry place for several weeks. 

Holly seeds have a tough outer seed coat that requires warm summer temperatures to break the dormancy, and so germinate in the second year after planting. However you can shorten this germination period by pre-treating the seed in a process called stratification. 

Place your seeds in a clear plastic bag covered sandwiched between two layers of damp moss peat. Tie the top and store the bag in your fridge for 20 weeks, after which they will be ready for planting. Sow your holly seeds directly outside in a nursery bed until they are ready to be transplanted a year later. 

Holly likes deep, loamy soil in full to part shade, but avoid areas that are prone to waterlogging during the winter. Plant the seeds 2 cm deep and 30 cm apart, then cover with soil. Clearly mark the area of planting to identify the seedlings when they emerge. 

Water lightly frequently to keep the soil damp but do not waterlog the plants. Transplant your holly seedlings when they are 30 cm tall. Dig out a generous root ball as holly has a long tap root so dig down 30 - 45 cm to avoid damaging this when transplanting.

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