July part 2
July 19th was the stopping date for this years show, this
consisted of removing any buds larger than an old 10p piece and removing
the growing point of each shoot leaving two blooms to develop. Pot
plant blooms develop slightly quicker than cut blooms and are much
easier to transport if they are still fresh.
The high nitrogen feed given at the beginning of the month has softened
plant growth and this allows for further shaping of the plant. I use
green canes for positioning side shoots as these are unobtrusive. If
the plant is grown correctly all will be hidden from view.
Plants are top dressed as they have been in these pots for a while and
are now full of root and benefit from the extra compost, this has the
added benefit of reducing watering slightly as during hot weather a
gallon can does three plants, so this means 15 trips back a forward to
the water barrel. A full strength balanced feed is added to the water in
the barrel and the plants will be fed this at every watering until about
three weeks before the show. At that point it will be changed to a high
potash feed as blooms can be hardened up once they have been positioned.
The next task is to remove the side buds, I do this as quickly as
possible. The reason for this being that the stocks left behind are
very small and do not rot in the bud at a later date. It is not
practical to go around checking them as when the plants are in flower
there will be over 700 blooms to check.