Primroses Are Falling Over & Composting Kitchen Waste

Question:

I planted Primroses last fall and they look great except for one problem. The flower clusters are stretching and flopping over instead being just above the foliage. What can I do to prevent this? 

Answer:

  • This is a common occurrence with the Pacific Giant Hybrid variety of English Primrose, as they’re reacting to the change in day length. With the days get longer, the stem that supports the flower cluster stretches, and it falls over when it gets top heavy. Moisture collecting in the florets and wind contribute to the problem.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to change this, but you can avoid this problem by planting the ‘acaulis’ or dwarf variety of primrose. The flowers of the ‘acaulis’ varieties are not borne in a cluster on a single stem; instead, individual stems support each flower floret.
  • The other major difference from the Pacific Giant Hybrids is that these stems don’t stretch over time. They’re day length neutral; hence, the flowers will always be just above the foliage and no higher. They grow four to eight inches tall and six to eight inches wide, with a full range of colors.
    • The one negative is that in prolong wet conditions they can develop a gray fuzzy mold called Botrytis. Fungicides can be applied, but dry conditions are the best method of curing this disease. 

Question:

What kitchen scraps should go into a compost pile? Is it only uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps or anything is fair game including chicken soup?

Answer:

  • Most kitchen wastes are fair game for a compost pile. So cooked and uncooked fruits and vegetables, oatmeal and yes, chicken soup that is the solid portion, not the liquid could be added.
    • The items that are always excluded from compost piles are the animal feces from red meat eating animals, grease, and other fats. So, you could add the solid waste from chickens, rabbits, cattle, and horses but not dogs and cats.
  •  Another factor is the method or type of composting your using, active or passive. This may be the qualifying factor as too which kitchen wastes you use.
    • An active form of composting generates heats, so the material decomposes quickly while a passive compost pile is much slower to decompose. With kitchen waste, I prefer an active compost pile while with garden trimming you can go either way.
    • You increase the decomposition rate with garden trimming by starting with small bits and pieces rather than larger chunks. Wet and dry kitchen wastes are excellent when using worms. To avoid having a mess on your hands let common sense rule when deciding which of the kitchen waste are composted. Some kitchen wastes are better disposed of with a disposal unit.