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Progress Report

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.




Posted by: at 13:24

Onions & Leeks

Friday, 15 February 2013

Yesterday I took the onion and leek plants out of the light cabinet under my propagation bench where they've been under fluorescent lights sinse christmas.  I potted the onions from a 40 cell tray into 9cm pots and the Leeks from 9cm pots into 13cm pots.   I now have them under a sodium lamp that is on a timmer.  It switches on at 8am till 10am then it comes on again at 4.30pm till 10pm.  I find it can be too hot between 10am till 4pm if its sunny. 

Many years ago a fire brigade along with two police officers called at my front gate and asked if the could come through my garden to gain access to the mountain behind my house to atennd to a grass fire.  Of course I said yes.  When the police officer saw the grow light in the greenhouse he said 'what have you got in there mate'  I said would you like to take a look.  I said they're my big onions, he replied.  'Well you are odd mate'  I take it he first thought I was growing cannabis. 

Leeks & Onions under a Sodium Light.

Chrysanthemum Cuttings rooting on the propagator.

All my carnations are now potted.

Posted by: at 19:01

Chrysanthemums:- The Ultimate Ebook

Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Since Paul and I have launched the updated version of Chrysanthemums- The Ultimate Ebook, I am pleased to see most of the original purchasers have downloaded the updated version. 

We have had steady sales in more than 10 countries and it has put me in touch with quite a few people across the globe.  I would like more feedback if possible.  If you would like to leave a message I would appreciate it.  Next year who knows we may well update it again and I would like to know if there is anything you would like to see included.

I have thought about a contribution from overseas growers to highlight how conditions differ from those we experience in the UK.

I must say if we had produced a paper copy we couldn't have contemplated an update until the first edition had sold out. Keeping the Ebook up to date appeals to both Paul and myself.  We have to face facts and accept that in the great scheme of things chrysanthemum growing is a minority hobby and it would be impossible to keep a paper book up to date in the same way as an Ebook.

I would like to thank Paul for his work and expertise in putting the Ebook together as well as his contribution towards the text and photos.

Also my daughter Sian who has created this website so that a dummy (like me) can add content to it, and of course organising the Ebook sales and downloading facility.  Who would have thought when she was a little girl she would turn out so clever. Oh well she must be taking after her mother.

Posted by: at 21:55

Spring is nearly here.

Tuesday, 05 February 2013

Well not quite I suppose

Thankfully the snow has gone.  I have sent out quite a few carnation cuttings since it eventually melted away.  I must say the snow held me back and its been frenetic since then.  Carnations are a devil to pack. To pack them so that the compost doesn't shake out of the pots and bags full of shredded paper to stop them rattling about in the box.  Well I've decided to end sending out carnation cuttings.  Its a never ending job.  Next year if anyone wants rooted cuttings they can collect, then you'll need to tell me what you want before the 1st October.  Then I will root them along with my own cuttings, but no more posting and packing.

I'm busy with chrysanthemum cuttings now and next week will see the first batch being sent out.  These are much easier to pack.


The snow! a delight for children but a nightmare for an old bloke like me.


Carnations ready to dispatch, and of course once they have gone I've managed to pot

my own up.

The first 2 batches of chrysanthemums on the propagation cable.

Posted by: at 21:07

Fertilisers for growing chrysanthemums

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

In recent years it has been difficult getting hold of base fertilisers for chrysanthemum growing.  Vitax have for some unknown reason began producing their Q4 and Q4HN range in pelleted form.  This makes it difficult to mix into compost and its not very good for weekly feeding either.  I've found the answer.  Medwyns of Anglesey stock their base fertilisers in powdered form.  Medwyns complete base fertiliser is very much like Vitax Q4 and Medwyns complete high nitrogen base fertiliser is like Q4HN.  They supply it through their online shop in 3 different sized bags,  Problem Solved.

Take a look at Medwyns of Anglesey website

Posted by: at 19:40

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