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Chrysanthemum Progress

Friday, 24 August 2012

What a miserable summer so far, I've never rolled back the cover over Large Exhibition chrysanthemums because its rained about 3 days per week. The plants I have in my back garden have only been watered about 4 times since the beginning of June. Thankfully I have been able to give them a teaspoonful of dry base fertiliser and the rain has watered it in. Some varieties have been very yellow, showing the symptoms of iron deficiency. I mixed sequestrate of iron into the fertiliser and they have greened up recently.  Under the cover theres been no problem. I've been watering about once per week except for the odd hot spell of weather when I've watered about every third day. I used a teaspoonful of Vitax Q4 per week up to bud and I've gone on to Solufeed 3-1-3 since securing the buds. The plants look well.  It will be interesting to see how they finish up after being under cover throughout.

Here are a few photos taken today:-





Posted by: at 23:56

Budding Roses

Sunday, 08 July 2012

Every summer I like to propagate a few new rose bushes. These days I only show Miniatures and Minifloras.  My pal Mike Thompson seems to come up with a few new varieties, and he's kind enough to let me have a stem to use as propagation material.

Budding is a form of grafting using a single eye as opposed to a piece of stem as we would do in apple grafting.  I grow my miniatures in pots, so I pot up Rosa Laxa root stocks in the winter, into 3ltr deep rose pots. By June they are ready for budding.


Making the T Cut. First of all use the budding knife to gently scrape away the loose bark so that it doesn't get into the cut and prevent the cambium layers on the scion and rootstock coming together and healing to become one plant.  Then make the T cut. one inch long maximum with a half inch maximum across the top of the T.  Use the beveled edge on the back of the blade to open up the T to take the single eye (Bud)



Cutting the eye from the scion wood. First of all we need dormant eyes, so often we have to take them from wood before it finishes blooming. Varieties differ. Some varieties eyes break before blooming has finished.  I remove the thorns, and cut the leaves off but leave the leaf petiole intact so that when it comes to the time of inserting the bud, you can handle the bud by the leaf petiole.  Position your knife about a quarter of an inch above the bud and cut into the stem. Keep the blade quite shallow as you want a flat bud so that it will sit in the T cut snug and neat. Once the blade is a quarter of an inch below the bud, tear the bud downwards. turn it over and use the tip of the blade to find the end of the wood behind the bud, grip it with the blade and thumb and pull it from the bud.

The Bud.  The important thing now is that the embryo eye is still intact and didn't come away with the wood. Trim the bud to length, about three quarter of an inch.


Insert the bud.  Insert the bud, (the right way up) and if it protrudes above the T cut, trim it off and put the tie on to prevent dehydration, until the union heals.


Beheading. This takes place in February leaving the neck (Hypercotyl) eye and root system to grow into a new bush.



Posted by: at 13:33

British National Carnation Society, visit to Whetman Pinks, nr Dawlish Devon.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Margaret and I had a wonderful time at Whetman Pinks last Tuesday (19th June 2012) What a well-run enterprise Whetman Pinks is. Their commitment to keeping virus free plant material is excellent news for gardeners.  Carolyn Whetman and her team gave us a great welcome.  A welcome fit for a king.




Posted by: at 14:11

Progress with Carnations, Chrysanthemums, Onions & other Gardening

Tuesday, 05 June 2012

I've had a few very productive days in the garden.  I've removed the stagging and lined the carnations out on the greenhouse floor.  The time the plants have spent on the stagging has been worthwhile because the plants have made good growth and are now tall enough to get light above the dwarf walls in the greenhouse.

I've replaced the polythene on the chrysanthemum cover and lined the plants out.  The plants in the back garden are still in the cold frames, this prevents the pots becoming too wet in the rain.  In another 10 days these will have to be stood out because they will be too tall for the cold-frames by then.

 I was delighted that it was fine this morning and I managed to earth up the potatoes before the rain arrived. 

The onions are making good progress and I've taken all the supports off.


Posted by: at 22:03

Canation Progess

Monday, 28 May 2012

I mixed the compost for final potting the perpetual carnations in early April.  By mid April I began scrubbing the 300 8-9 inch  clay pots.  By early May I had re-potted the lot.  150 pots have been lined out in one polytunnel and 40 pots in an 8 x 12 greenhouse.  Once the vegetable and basket plants have gone out in the garden I will accommodate another 30 pots in the other small greenhouse.  Then the stagging will be removed in the big greenhouse and the remaining pots lined out on the floor in there.  There is one border with early chrysanthemums and also some long leeks in there too.  I have begun feeding with 2 parts nitrogen to 1 part potassium.  I use an injector and calibrate the strength of the feed to 300mS. That is just less than half strength. 


Posted by: at 21:55

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