The 2013 programme is now almost complete and the site is gradually been tidied up for winter. The regular blog will now be put on hold until the 2014 programme but we will still be updating the website with items of interest such as EAMU’s and events etc.
Much of the outdoor foliage trials are now well into harvest including the hypericum, snowberries, Ivy, Cotinus and Viburnum. These have been sampled to a number of different outlets and are receiving a favourable response.
The Zinnia continue to crop and crop – we picked the first flowers in July and it looks like they will still be cropping into October. The vase life tests undertaken by FloraLife have been encouraging but there is still further work to do with this crop. There are clear varietal differences as regards performance and they do respond favourably to specific post harvest treatments. A full report will be available at the end of the season.
The indoor sunflowers are now starting to be cropped and a number of the varieties are performing very well.
The second flush of Breanthus is struggling, as is the second flush of aster ericoides. Clearly the cold spring has come into play here by delaying the first flush but in 2014 it would be good to look at manipulating the blackout to produce an earlier flush with shorter stems and still give enough time to produce a second flush.
The indoor plantings of lupins have now produced a surprising number of flowers which is enabling some vase life work to be done on them.
After the late start to the season, things have now really caught up with many of the indoor trials now almost fully cropped. Its a good job we did not hold the Open Day in September as per last year because there would not be much to see! The lupins have produced a surprising number of good stems and we are hoping to be able to do some limited vase life trials thjs year. The “bloom” aster trial has demonstrated that a few of the “American” varieties are worth pursuing further although some may need growth regulant applied when grown under protection. We are now waiting to see if the breanthus and aster ericoides will produce a second flush before the autumn weather sets in!
The sweet William herbicide trial is showing slow progress with little signs of either weeds or crop. The trial has now been irrigated in order to try and speed things up a bit!!
This has been a very busy period for harvesting and assessments with most of the trials needing to be cropped. This included the last of the lilies, the second planting of sunflowers (although the indoor ones are yet to crop), the blacked out aster ericoides, the solomio carnations and some of the outdoor perennials such as the sedum and hypericum.
Don’t forget to put the lily technical day in your diary. This will be held at Winchester Growers on the 11th of September and the HDC will send further details via email broadcasts in the near future,
After the success of the Open Day last week, we are now back to recording and assessing the trials with a vengeance this week.
Many of the crops have now been harvested including the last of the breanthus and eryngium, the first stems from the annual and perennial asters as well as the lilies, sunflowers and Katz stocks. Vase life work also continues with the Zinnia and Karma Dahlias.
The assessments have been completed on the Fusarium susceptibility variety trial at J A Collison and Son and the results will be the subject of one of our 2 page fact sheets which will hopefully be available in September.
In conjunction with ADAS we are undertaking a herbicide trial on Sweet Williams in an attempt to find a replacement for Ronstar which will not be available in a couple of years time! This trial is been hosted by a commercial nursery,
About 70 people attended the 2013 CFC Open Day on the 1st of August. The event began with a tour of the column stock variety trial and Fusarium susceptibility trial at J A Collison and Sons before moving over to the CFC site where formal presentations and a tour of the site were then rounded off by a hog roast and refreshments.
For those of you who could not attend please click the following link for a copy of the hand out from the day CFC open day 2013 MASTER handout