Saturday, 23 February 2013
The severe cold spell has hampered my progress outdoors. I would have liked to have pruned my climbing roses and tidied up the mixed border but these will have to wait till it warms up.
In the greenhouse I'm up to date because I've spent a lot of time there because its been so cold out doors. My Onions & Leeks are beginning to grow away since I potted them on a week or so ago. I have the sodium lights set to come on at 7.30am till 9.30am and again at 4.30am till 10pm. This ensures it doesn't get too hot around mid day till early afternoon. The temperature gets down to about 8c at night and when the lights come on it soon raises to around 12c. This encourages the Leeks & Onions to stretch. It is a phenomena known in horticulture as day diff. If your temperature raises at day break and for the first 2 hours the plants will stretch, if they have warm nights and cool mornings the will stay stocky.
Of course this is not what we want for chrysanths and its too expensive to heat higher at night and vent in the morning so I spray with a growth regulator called B9. By upping the auxin level the plants stay stocky. This certainly helps because shorter plants are much easier to handle.
I've thrown away some chrysanthemum stools to make room for potting the first batch of cuttings. Next week the last batch of cuttings will go onto the propagation bench. Once these are taken all the remaining stools will be discarded and I can space out the young potted plants. Good Light is important.
I have a few plants of Artemisia annua grown from seed sown at the same time as my onions, under lights. I plan to graft a few chrysanthemums on to them in due course, just for the hell of it and to see what I can produce.
My carnations have been in 5 inch pots for a few weeks now and I've stopped all except for the Joanne's Highlight familly which I usually stop in March.
Onions & Leeks
Cuttings ready to send out
Artemisia annua Young chrysanthemums potted into 9cm clay pots.
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