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HDC Project PO 005 Column stocks (cut flowers): An investigation into the cause(s) of poor establishment, growth and flower uniformity in commercial crops.

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Presentation on theme: "HDC Project PO 005 Column stocks (cut flowers): An investigation into the cause(s) of poor establishment, growth and flower uniformity in commercial crops."— Presentation transcript:

1 HDC Project PO 005 Column stocks (cut flowers): An investigation into the cause(s) of poor establishment, growth and flower uniformity in commercial crops.

2  HDC funded trials in 2013 showed that bark incorporation both improved the overall quality of stems and reduced Fusarium.  BUT this was in small plots in one house, on one soil type in one year.  The real question was would this then convert into real benefits in a commercial scale crop???  In 2013 the HDC provided funding to try and answer this.

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5  J A Collison & Sons – first and second round crops, old glass, new glass and Spanish tunnels.  Belmount Nurs - glasshouse and poly tunnels.  Lambs Flowers – first round crop and second round with mushroom compost.  Whiteheads of Boston – second round glasshouse crop including spray stocks.  Richard Cousins – first and second round crops and mushroom compost.

6  Full rate bark vs. none in the first round crop  Additional N vs. no N  Full rate bark in first and second round crops.  Full rate in first round and none in second round.  Full rate in first round and half rate in second round crop both pre and post steaming.  The use of bark in both glasshouses and tunnels.  Interaction with “green waste” incorporation and Basamid interaction.

7  The bark appeared to considerably improve the soil structure.  The lighter, “fluffier” soil made planting easier and quicker.  Early crops looked superb BUT  Stems counts from the different treatments showed no difference.  AND later in the seasonFusarium still rampant in some houses!!

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10  Following on from the Octave error in the 2012 trial.  Looked at 2 and 4 times the rate of Octave, Switch, Cercobin, Signum and Plover.  Applied in pots to Fusarium inoculated soil.  One drench after planting.  Used Centum deep blue as one of the most susceptible varieties!

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14 HDC Project PO BOF 002 Lyndon Mason Project Manager

15  From Jan 2007 to Nov 2008 funded by the HDC, Fenland Leader+ and In-Kind.  During 2009 funded by HDC PC and BOF panel (and £3K from Waitrose).  Now currently have a five year funding package from HDC (2013 to 2107)  Entirely industry lead and run by a Industry Management Group.  Under the new funding package the CFC has taken on a Cut Flower Association Role.

16  New Product Development (NPD) but less emphasis than under the “old CFC”.  To develop and facilitate trials on mainstream cut flower crops to solve topical technical issues.  To develop a “Crop Association” role with particular emphasis on identifying and co- ordinating R&D priorities for the sector.  To become an information hub for the industry especially via the CFC website.

17  For the first 2 year (2007 to 08) the CFC was located at the Kirton Research Centre.  Kirton closed in Feb  A number of options investigated but the favoured option was Rookery Farm, Holbeach St John where it has been ever since!

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20  German asters  Antirrhinum  Karma Dahlia  Spray carnations and annula dianthus  Pinks  Ornamental Brasica  Phlox  Solidalgo  Aster ericoides

21  Hardy foliage  Seeds raised fillers (bupleurum, Cosmos, carthamus, Ammi etc)  “Seasonal” alstroemeria.  Sunflowers  Hardy foliage  Trachelium  Leonotis  Ornamental peppers  Sedum

22  Eryngium  Delphinium  Larkspur  Cyanara  Ornamental grasses  Zinnia  Amaranthus  Lynchnis  Caryopteris  Lisianthus

23  Very high quality stems from trials in 2010 and  The 2012 a replicated trial was designed to address questions raised by growers ie.  Is the black mulch improving quality? – therefore have black poly and no black poly.  Will you get such good quality with closer spacing? – therefore planted at 64, 80 and 96 per sq.m.  Affects of sterilisation? – therefore planted into steamed, Basamid and no sterilisation.  Also small trial in open Spanish tunnel.  RESULTS – in 2012 every treatment produced a hoh quality crop!!

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26  In 2011 the Peloric trumpet range were impressive but limited colour range and flowering period.  In 2012 planted in week 28 using the Apollo range + some experimental codes.  Better colour range and produced some very good quality good stems.  Also tried a few Potomac in week 22 which gave a superb crop.  BUT is there a market for the crop? There has been some commercial crops in 2013 and 14.

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28  New annual dianthus from Hilverda Kooij.  Planted in week 18 from week 14 plugs potted into 9cm pots.  Half pinched in week 21, half not pinched.  Second flush from most colours except the white  Large differences between varieties but breeding work is ongoing.  So far received positive feedback on market potential BUT the packer do not want to pay a realistic price per stem.

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31  The large headed “German type” Krallen aster proved very popular from previous trials.  The “blue” colours were the most popular but have issues with petal tipping.  Subsequent trials have tried to find an alternative to Krallen but with limited success.  Do not seem to have large enough heads and the Meteor suffered severely from TSWV despite having a thrips spray programme.  Trials currently on hold until we can access different genetics.

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34  Planted in 2010 and  Now producing some very strong stems especially the 3 rd year crop.  Now available in a range of unusual colours and flower forms.  Crops over quite a long period and can be harvested at different stage of maturity.  Relatively easy to grow and trouble free and will crop for many years.

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36  New range of spray carnations from Hilverda Kooij.  Planted week 18 (potted into 9cm pots from week 14 plugs) and pinched week 21.  Both produced good quality flower but the Star is loved by rabbits.  Have received mixed feedback on market potential for UK growers and likely that stem price will be too low to make the crop viable.

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38  Looking at continuity and vase life of a wide range as requested by the supermarkets.  Sown outside and under protection from week 21 to 30 (wanted earlier but let down with seed supply).  Included Ammi Visnaga, Anthriscus sylvestris, Bupleurum, Cosmos, Carthamus, Dill, Euphorboa and Ridolfia.  All products are being vase life tested.

39  Bupleurum needs weekly sowings for continuity of harvest.  Carthamus very prone to leaf tipping even under protection.  Cosmos has vase life issues.  Dill and Ridolfia still stretch after harvest.  Euphorbia too short in year 1.  Anthriscus did not germinate.  Ammi visnaga too vigorous (majus seed was not delivered so try again in 2015).

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43  Looking at the possibility of developing a “seasonal” crop using older, none royalty varieties both outdoors and under protection.  Wide range of varieties supplied by Parigro.  Planted in week 22 indoors and week 23 outside.  First flowers in early July but not long enough to be marketable until week 31 (from protected crop).  Still producing large numbers of stems.

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45  Trialing Benary varieties which have performed well in the US and last year at the CFC.  Using Benarys Giant and Oklahoma planted in week 18 and 22 at 64 per sq.m.  Grew away very well initially suffered from Xanthamonus bacterial blight.  Been cropping since week 26 and still cropping.  Vase life testing is in progress and will continue throughout the season.

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48  New varieties from Realflor named Real Fancy, Frilly and Fizzy.  Planted in week 17 from pinched plants.  Flowering from week 25 to week 29.  Initial vase life tests are encouraging  Need to look at the second year performance to determine the economics of production – need a second round and a good stem price!

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50  Planted week 22 in Spanish tunnel at 64 per sq/m  Varieties planted were Lake Michigan blue, white and purple and Corine purple.  Grown single stem but also produced marketable side shoots.  Flowering from week 32 to week 34.  Varietal differences in stem strength.  More trials planned for 2015.

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60  Go to for updates and topical items.www.thecutflowercentre.co.uk  Discuss topics /issues with any MG member.  Attend Open Days.  Obtain copies of CFA reports / technical notes via the HDC or the CFA website.  Attend other events such as the technical days held in 2013 and 2014.


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