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Dry Fern Trough

Discussion in 'Alpine Gardening' started by Sirius, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Sirius

    Sirius Total Gardener

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    So I bought myself a tufa trough yesterday

    The plan is to plant it up with dry ferns - Cheilanthes, Ceterach, Asplenium trichomanes

    Anyone tried something similar?
     
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    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      Not with ferns but I have with alpines.. :SUNsmile:
       
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      • NCFCcrazy

        NCFCcrazy Super Gardener

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        That's a really great idea!! I am a big fan of ferns, much to my wife's disgust, she just doesn't get it. May have to pinch that idea :-)
         
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        • Sirius

          Sirius Total Gardener

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          No prob.

          I want to get the soil mix right. Was thinking along the lines of 1/3 JI No 3, 1/3 sharp sand, 1/3 grit.
          Have a loads of tennis ball sized rocks that I plan on half burying and planting the ferns against.
           
        • kindredspirit

          kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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          I have loads of ferns in troughs but not specifically "dry" ones.

          I have various mixes. The latest two troughs have 25% sieved soil. 40% ericaceous compost. 25% pine needles. 10% sand. The pine needles make the whole mix light and fluffy.

          I have different mixes in the other troughs but I've forgotten the exact mix now. I use whatever comes to hand really.

          In most of the troughs I use Red Sandstone rocks with ferns.
           
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          • kindredspirit

            kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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            2017-03-15 17.50.54.jpg2017-03-15 17.38.19.jpg2017-03-15 17.39.04.jpg2017-03-15 17.42.26.jpg


            Three of these troughs have been planted up recently. I have other troughs planted with ferns one and two years ago. On some you can't see the troughs for the ferns' fronds ! !

            The circular trough you see in one of the pics has been planted with a Giant Japanese Painted Fern. I have gone away a little from my mantra and planted some deciduous plants. :( :(
             
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            • Sirius

              Sirius Total Gardener

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              Kindredspirit,

              Thanks for posting the photos.

              The last one is of particular interest
              Those are the species I am thinking of, but can't see all the labels. Can you me what all the species are
               
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              • Marley Farley

                Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                I love the last pic you have up there, I have Rusty backs growing in an old pipe..
                 
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                • kindredspirit

                  kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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                  Sirius, two lots of very common native ferns there.

                  Rustyback fern. Ceterach officinarum
                  Irish ferns - Rusty-back Fern

                  Maidenhair Spleenwort. Asplenium trichomanes
                  Irish ferns - Maidenhair Spleenwort

                  These two have been planted in spoil from a slag heap in a slate quarry. If I water that trough, the water runs out of the bottom immediately as they're planted in very dry, slate debris.

                  Also, Polypodiums might be of interest to you. I found one growing in my gutter and in accordance with my policy of rarely paying for anything :) it was transplanted into one of my troughs.
                   
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                    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
                  • Sirius

                    Sirius Total Gardener

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                    Kindredspirit,

                    Ok I have those 2 you list. So will put them in.
                    Am planning on setting up the trough this weekend.

                    Also have a few other bits and pieces to try, so will see how I go with them.
                     
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                    • Sirius

                      Sirius Total Gardener

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                      Put it together on the weekend

                      IMG_8430.JPG
                       
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                      • kindredspirit

                        kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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                        Very good. I like flint. What is the spindly plant bottom left and the plant lower middle left?
                         
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                        • Sirius

                          Sirius Total Gardener

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                          Greyish plant is a Chelmesia
                          Creeping plant at the edge is Sedum album
                           
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                          • kindredspirit

                            kindredspirit Gardening around a big Puddle. :)

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                          • Sirius

                            Sirius Total Gardener

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                            Hopefully the various bits will grow and cover the area a bit more.
                            This is my first try with Cheilanthes. They are known to be a bit difficult, so will see how I get on with them.
                             

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