Week 35 (2019) Update

The Bulrush trial into alternative growing media for lilies is progressing well with the stems now forming buds.  At this stage there is no real difference between the treatments.

The veronica which were disbudded at the beginning or last week are now developing into sprays and should be ready to harvest in a few days.  It is hoped to undertake vase life tests comparing these with the standard non disbudded stems.

The “Fusarium tunnel” was cleared a couple of weeks ago but the plots of lisianthus were left in situ and these are now coming into flower.  This again clearly demonstrates the varietal specificity of Fusarium oxysporum. (see photos below)

Week 34 (2019) Update

The Eucomis are in full flower this week and some of the varieties, especially Sparkling Burgundy (see left hand photo) are spectacular with the stem length exceeded 90cms?  However the premium price that would be commanded for these stems would probably make it a florist rather than a supermarket product.

The Gomphrena is now starting to make a suitable stem length with many stems exceeding 55cms which would potentially make it a suitable filler for bouquets.

The second round of white and pink  veronica is now starting to flower although the blue is already over the top with the second flush being to short and weak to make a quality stem.  However the pink and white look like they will produce marketable stems and in order to produce a better quality product we are experimenting with removing the centre bud in order to try and produce a spray the same as with the Lysimachia a couple of weeks ago.  The results of this will be reported via this blog in a week or twos time.

Week 33 (2019) Update

The first planting of Lepidium “Green Dragon” has been flowering over the past couple of weeks but was cleared this week.  Despite what looked like premature budding soon after planting, eventual stem length of the crops was 65 to 75 cms.

The outdoor planting of Eryngium has established well and planting through Mypex seems to be a viable option for this crop and has certainly maximised growth and minimised weeds.

As usual the CFC has again provided samples for a wide range of purposes including the Jonathan Moseleys  British Flower demonstrations  at the RHS and other flower shows.  This week was the turn of RHS Rosemoor and our Astrantia (see left had photo) was one of many subjects delivered by Nursery Fresh to Jonathan (see right hand photo).

Week 32 (2019) Update

The Japanese stocks flower trial was completed this week with the 3 colours of Anytime being the last to flower.  Assessments of the stem length and weight have been taken for all planting and will be available in the final report but to summarise, all of the Japanese varieties have consistently produced a longer stem length but similar weight to the “traditional” varieties that were included in the trial.

The second flush of Veronica was also flowering this week although the blue was very weak and short.  Powdery mildew has been a problem throughout this year and the second flush also has some infection despite a regular spray programme.

The overwintered Lysimachia Jumbo  have been flowering for a couple of weeks now and we have experimented with removing the main flower and allowing the side flowers to develop.  The result of this has been an amazing stem of flowers with a length of 80cms.  While this is probably too large for supermarket work, it would make an excellent premium product for florists.


Week 31 (2019) Update

The final planting (week 25) of the Japanese stocks is in flower this  week and vase life tests are being undertaken on all of the varieties (huge thank you to Laura Tebby at Superflora for doing this for us).

The second flush of Veronica is now coming into flower (see left hand photo) but powdery mildew is just starting to creep into the crop (see left hand photos) so the spray programme has now been stepped up to weekly sprays.

The hot weather this week has meant that the Scabious have overflushed meaning it was very hard to keep on top of the cropping.  We have decided to cut back half of each variety to determine if this will generate a vigorous flush of fresh stems in a few weeks time when the area not cut back will be starting to lose its vigour.  We will report back on this trial later in the season.

Week 30 (2019) Update

The NPD trial of Echinacea was in full flower this week and some of the varieties look quite encouraging.  However further work on yield and vase life is required before this crop can be commercialised.

Despite budding up very early, the Lepidium “Green Dragon” is now growing away vigorously and look like it will produce a good stem length (see left hand photo).  However as a word of warning don’t forget that Lepidium is a member of the brassica family and as such is very attractive to flea beetles which did in fact catch us out a bit this week (see right hand photo) even though the stocks have not been attacked this week.

And finally for this week, the week 23 planting of Japanese stocks is now in full flower (with the week 25 planting not far behind) and the Scabious and Astrantia continue to flush prolifically (see harvested flowers in right hand photo).