Monday, June 28, 2010

the after effects.....poinsettias make a comeback!

This morning, I walked out to the greenhouse and looked at the poinsettias that had gotten overheated and dehydrated. Plants are amazing. The first picture is today's condition. The second shot shows the initial damage. Overall, the poinsettias recovered pretty well.

The Oasis wedges never dried out so the plants still had some humidity. The first few days are really critical and you have to stay observant and make minor (or major) changes every few hours.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

and sometimes things go wrong.....

I think many people want put their best show forward on blogs. However, I think differently. I have been propagating poinsettias or helping my dad propagate poinsettias for 40 years. I am 50.

The first grower who tells you they never make a mistake is pulling your leg. Stuff happens. One little slip can cause problems. I found a problem yesterday and thanks to my posting on this blog, I found it earlier rather than later.

The mist lines are made up of ten foot sections. The spacing between each mister is three feet. Therefore there is a definite sequence that is required for connecting one length of pipe to another. If that sequence is violated the spacing of the nozzles will change from 3 feet to 5 ft.

It happened out in the greenhouse. One section is misplaced. Why is this important? It is important because the poinsettia cuttings under that section of pipe did not receive proper misting on Friday and Saturday. I discovered this problem yesterday, Sat, at 5:30.

Hopefully, I will be able to salvage some of these poinsettias. We will see. Here is a picture of them. They don't look very good.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Day After............

The day after inserting poinsettia cuttings into the Oasis Wedges is always are critical time. The plants always seem to wilt given Midwest weather, so the faster they re-hydrate and become turgid the better for the plant.

Here are couple photos showing showing the day after. Note in the pictures that there are two different types of mist nozzles. I experimented with these nozzles. The brass nozzles apparently give much better coverage than the plastic nozzle. Notice the wilted plants under the plastic nozzle.

The brass nozzles are old style while the plastic is a new generation of misting nozzle. This is not to say the plastic is inferior, what it means is that a different type of spacing is required for the plastic nozzles. Maybe two runs of pipe, rather than one. Also, having the plastic nozzles spaced closer together would be helpful and then alternating the directions of spray orifice so that they are not set in the same direction.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Poinsettias 2010, Time to Propagate

Last week, we began propagating poinsettias. For the first time, we did not buy in Stock plants in order to take our own poinsettia cuttings. Stock plants are like "mother" plants. We snip off the tips and root the tips.

This year, we bought in unrooted cuttings (URC). The advantage was consistent size cuttings. Consistency occurs both in the caliper and the length.

Last week, we inserted 3000 red URC poinsettias in Oasis Rooting Media wedges. The varieties included Ecke Early Prestige and Prestige. We like these varieties because they have strong stems and color up early, especially Early Prestige. Early Prestige will be available around mid-Novemeber.

Yesterday, we inserted another 3200 Red poinsettias. These cuttings came from Selecta First Class and include the following Christmas Day, Eve, and Season. Also in Christmes Feelings Marble, Pink, Slect and White. Google these varieties. You will be amazed at the differences.