We are now in the middle of the month and light levels are steadily improving which will normally bring about the start of the awakening of the plants that have been in a low profile hibernation state; I state normally as this year has seen one of the milder winters although you will not need me to inform you one of the wettest on records, in fact I did hear that it has been the wettest January since the 1750’s. I have actually been potting the plants on into their final pots since early December but must stress this is only when they have filled their allotted pot compost and it’s important that you must not pot them on until they have done so, you want the plants roots searching straight away into the new compost. This year I am aiming at having most of the plants in either two to a two litre pot or three to a three litre pot as last year I used four litre pots but did notice at the end of the season when the pots were emptied the plants did not grow into the bottom compost of the pot this could be due to using a smaller pot at first potting stage as I used 7cm pots where in the past I used 10cm pots. I will still use one and half litre pots for the Picotees though. I have also decided to run some trials using the same cultivars but using sand in the mix, this is just to see if there is a final difference in bloom quality; problem being that I have noticed is the increase weight in the pot with using sand, so all sand mixed pots have been restricted to two litre pots for ease.
I have only selected a few plants to be grown on for another season; this of course is always fraught with dangers, not just any disease but also the overwintering of any pests; so the selected plants have been constantly sprayed and potted on into a size larger pot. This is hoped will give some early blooms and they will be allowed to grow six stems per plant. I did notice last year that not all plants seemed to produce good blooms grown this way and so this year they will be fed at every watering.
Plants are only potted on when they are ready.
Plants are only potted on into two or three litre pots when they are ready.
Picotees are potted into one and a half litre pots as are some Picotee seedlings
Second year plants need constant observation and spraying.
It’s been such a mild winter that the Pinks outside on the patio have constantly flowered.