This week the Haygrove tunnel was infected with a Mathiola specific Fusarium oxysporum which has been lovingly cultured by the staff at Warwick Uni. It arrived in large bags and was evenly raked into the soil on Thursday morning ready for planting up the next day. This will now provide a permanent site for which to undertake Fusarium control trials in the future.
Then on Friday the whole tunnel was planted up with a range of column stock varieties (including very Fusarium sensitive vars such as Centum blue) as well as a few plots of lisianthus and brassica. The purpose of this planting is to test that the disease is active in the soil and is spread evenly throughout the tunnel. The lisianthus and brassica are there to demonstrate the host specific nature of Fusarium and should therefore not succumb to the disease.
The first planting of the grasses is now almost ready to harvest although some varieties are shorter than last year which is presumably a result of the June heat wave.
The Scabious have also so far not performed as well as last year. They all budded up early in June (see left hand photo) and on the advice of the propagators were cut back about a month ago. They are now growing a lot better and some will soon be ready to harvest (see right hand photo) but the plants have not made anywhere near the bulk of frame that they had achieved this time last year. Again, I can only assume that this is a result of the June weather.