We are now at week 4 of
my countdown and this week I have been drawing inspiration from pictures
on Facebook of Phil Champion of Silver Spirit and Ian Donaldson’s pot
plants, high quality indeed. Mighty fine. Ian will soon need a sign over
his greenhouse door, ‘Laboratory, Stationers and Haberdashers’! Just my
Last week I fed a 1-4
(phosphate)-1 feed and I have been watching what happened, well after
trying to push my 6 inch labels into the pots I know the roots are now
solid. The top growth did not increase a lot until Thursday however the
stem thickness increased a lot. From Thursday the foliage grew and the
plants height increased significantly and it is starting to go over the
top of my support canes. Remember I still have no ties. All good signs!!
I also took my plants
for a bath! Really a shower, many people forget to get rid of the dust
that falls on their plants. Dirty plants are like dirty humans they do
not function well, remember we are aiming at optimum photosynthesis. Do
not forget under the foliage and the stems with a sprayer. I also
cleaned all my buds with toothpaste.
One of the hardest
skills to attain when growing is when and how much to water. When asked
this question I remind people that God gave us hands to feel. If in
doubt push your fingers into the compost around an inch and a half down
if its dry then you need to water. Also, remember at this time of year
your pots are (should be) full of roots and when watering it is best to
see it coming out of the bottom of your pots. I do not recommend saucers
that collect water as this affects the drainage. Your choice, I have
been clear about how important it is?
I am now taking handfuls
of buds off the plants every day. I slit a sample of them open length
ways to look at the lay of the petals right to the centre. My buds are
all coming through the foliage.
A little-known fact is
that both the leaves and guard petal have hairs on them, this is so the
bud is not damaged as it emerges. The hairs hold the flower off the
leaves. The flower releases itself as it grows. However, we all need to
protect it if open vents allow wind in or we brush past foliage on the
greenhouse paths. We inadvertently damage the flower even in the bud.
The exhibitors use synthetic cotton wool on either side of their
selected buds to protect it leaving nothing to chance.
I have also had a plant
with stem rot and have treated it with Rovrol (paint it on the surface
of the rot) and it is now healed and is growing away again strongly.
Today Sunday, I have
been tying in the stems on my pot plants and I discarded 3 plants
outside. They will still provide colour. Remember if you are doing this,
to position the side shoots in the direction you want them to go and
make sure they are not obstructed or growing bent due to the ties. You
should also change the position of the leaves to give a more balanced
and pleasing effect.
The multifloras on my
‘Display Wall’ are making good progress. I had a bonus on Saturday when
a friend gave me 4 plants of Sweet Spice Bounty it looks an excellent
variety for outdoor display. All in all, I am a happy man content with
my lot. My seedling Agapanthus have just been potted into 4 inch pots
and some of the previous seedlings now have flower spikes coming up.
Lots of different things to enjoy.
Now, all you growers out
there the weather forecast is for 30 degrees C from Wednesday your
greenhouses are going to get very hot, are you ready?? I am with no flag
floors (earth beds) good ventilation and shading, open slatted benches
and plants sprayed most days since April with Brown Maxicrop. I can
guarantee that people will be ringing me shortly telling me tales of woe
and that it only happens where they are located. Preparation is in the
grower’s hands. Good luck!
What next? Watch your
plants they will tell you what they want. I will be watching mine! See
you all next week all being well. Keep healthy and prosperous.
One last thing, it would
be nice to get some feedback, questions or comments either on Facebook,
e mail or telephone otherwise I can all assume you know everything and I
can retire. I hold my breath!!