Week 19 and 20 update

The Breanthus and Solomio are growing away well but it is clear that some of the Breanthus varieties still need some further development by the breeder because they have thrown up one weak, short premature stem while the other varieties are still in the vegetative stage (see photos below)

In week 20 we planted a wide range of “American” varieties of bloom asters (at 64 plants per sq/m) in a further attempt to find a reliable replacement for the “blue” Krallen varieties that are in demand by the markets but proved troublesome when produced on a commercial scale.  This trial has also been replicated on a growers holding.

The overwintered aster ericoides are growing vigorously  (see photo below) and we will be starting to black them out in about a weeks time in order to try and obtain two flushes from the crop.


Week 17 and 18 update

At the end of week 17 the first of the lily variety trials was boxed up.  We have generously been provided with a number of new varieties to trial from three Dutch supplier ie Onings, VWS and Nord Lommerse and hope that other suppliers will participate in our later trials.

We have also incorporated a small growing media trial with some being grown in “green waste” or a mixture of green waste and peat  as well as a control of pure peat of course.  Half of the trial have been housed immediately in our single span Spanish tunnel with the other half being cold stored before being housed in a few weeks time. Many thanks to Phil Collison for the use of his cold store for this trial.

We hope to hold a lily event in a few weeks time to give growers the opportunity to view the trials and focus on the R & D needs of the UK lily industry.

In week 18 we have planted up the ADAS stocks herbicide trial using Figaro as an example of the  more recent breeding line (which tend to be shallow rooted) and Fedora deep rose to be representative of the older more vigorous varieties.  ADAS will be applying the chemicals later this week.

The Solomio and Breanthus are growing away well but there are certainly varietal differences showing up with some of the unpinched breanthus already developing a premature flower




Week 16 Update

In week 16 we have planted the second batch of Breanthus and Solomio carnations.  The week 14 planted of Solomio have now been pinched.  Half of the week 14 Breanthus have also been pinched with the remaining half being grown without pinching.

We have also sown (in week 15)  a range of trial sunflower varieties which have been supplied by Pro-Veg.  A second planting will be made in a few weeks time.

Forced Tulip Event – 10th April

There was a “full house” at Winchester Growers Nocton site with about 35 people attending the joint CFC / HDC forced tulip event.  The handout from the day can be accessed by clicking the following link:- Master Handout Tulip Event 2013

There also followed a lively discussion about the R&D needs of the forced tulip sector with a number of priorities being highlighted including water quality and nutrition, a Dutch study tour to look at mechanisation, the use of lights to extend stem length and the need to access, translate and disseminate good quality and reliable Dutch technical information.  The CFC will now liaise with both the industry and the HDC in order to move these ideas forward.


Started planting at last!!

At last winter seems to have come to an end and we have finally started planting this years trials in the “closed” Haygrove tunnel.  In week 14 we planted the first of the breanthus and solomio trials supplied by Hilverda Kooiji.  We have 3 replicates of  6 varieties of breanthus planted at a density of 25 plants per sq/m and 2 replicates of  7 varieties of solomio planted at 32 plants per sq metre.  In a couple of weeks time we will be pinching half of each of the breathus plots and all of the solomio plots.  At flowering we will be recording yield and stem weight and also testing the vase life.  A second planting will be made in week 16.