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      March

As we move into March itís time to think about composts & 2nd potting, I make all my own composts. With many of my tubers started in plain peat the 2nd pot will need some feed in the mix. Iím slightly changing my mix for the 2nd pot, going for a 50/50 peat & soil-based mix. Hopefully this mix will help keep the excellent root growth Iíve got in the plain peat growing just as vigorous. Using a 3-litre pot I will measure out 5 x medium course peat 5 x sterilised loam (Keith Singletons) 2 x grit. I use a cement mixer to mix it all up starting with the loam & grit adding 8 oz of Q4 base mix fertiliser,

6 oz Nutrimate, 3 oz ground calcified seaweed & 3/4 oz Dolmitic lime. Once this is mixed then the peat is added but it must not be over mixed, or the course peat will be destroyed to a fine peat defeating the openness required in the mix. Once the plants are in their fresh compost, they are now on an open bench but still on a heated mat, with their heads in the cold & the roots still getting a little warmth the root growth will continue but top growth will slow right down. Now room can become a bit sparse & I donít want to start putting plants into the large glasshouse until April due to no heating. Basket plants are moving well, the first baskets will soon need to be made up. Baskets will be grown in my 50/50 mix to help keep the baskets a little lighter, donít want them breaking the chains. Now that March has arrived, Iíve started off 110 tubers for flowering early August, but still have 140 left in the garage that donít need starting till April for the British Championship in September.

 

Phil Champion

January      Feb   Late March

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