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Cut flowers over winter suggestions please

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by JWK, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    So I grow flowers for cutting and from early spring to November I'm getting a good supply. I'm wondering how I can fill the gap over-winter.

    Does anyone have experience of forcing daffodil/hyacinth bulbs for example or any other ideas for a frost free greenhouse - maybe perennial carnations? I keep my greenhouse at 5C minimum.

    One thought I had was to bring dahlias in before the first frost and try and keep them flowering until Dec/Jan.
     
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    • Scrungee

      Scrungee Well known for it

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      I've found that Daffs flower stems always grow nice and straight, but Tulips and Hyacinths want to grow bendy unless they have plenty of even light.

      When seriously reduced, I always buy tall Daffs for cut flowers and Tete a Tete mini Daffs for potted flowers.

      Tall Daffs are planted in layers in pots (ex Morrisons flower buckets) and left outside until they sprout, then brought inside a polytunnel before winter gales and snow trash the leaves. (Badgers have also been known to dig up Daffs, a work colleauge of mine gave up growing them in his garden due to Badger damage). When the flower stems are showing buds, bring them, in stages to prolong flowering , into an unheated greenhouse to accelerate flowering and I've cut them at or just prior to bud burst. Keeping the bulbs in those pots for another year has always proved difficult, so I've tended to then plant out in open beds at my plot for a later crop the following year, or let them dry out over summer for re-planting in pots the following autumn (stop mice from eating them!), or used them to supplement the display in my front garden where bulbs seem to fade away every rather than multiply.

      Mini Daffs have been planted in 3" (ish) pots near the surface and gone staight into a polytunnel, then greenhouse or straight indoors. After flowering they've been treated in a similar way, but instead of the open beds at plot option have been re-planted in window boxes and hanging baskets.

      Are you growing tall Wallflowers for cutting in early spring?

      P.S. When flowers for cutting are scarce, I'll add twigs from Dogwood, Hazel with catkins, Pussy Willow in flower and Horse Chestnut 'sticky buds' to anything else I can cut to put in a vase. In also cut Kerria, then Lilac blossom. There's also Winter Jasmine and Forsythia.
       
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        Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
      • JWK

        JWK Gardener

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        Thanks for that comprehensive reply @Scrungee. I will have a go at Daffs next year, I had wondered about growing dwarf daffs such as Tete-a-tete in containers and bringing the whole thing indoors for display just bring to flowering.

        Wallflowers are something off my radar so thanks for mentioning those. I'm obviously too late for this year but wonder if they could be forced in the cold greenhouse to get earlier flowering? I will have a go at that idea next season, bring successive batches in to hopefully fill the gap in Jan/Feb.

        We do have winter forsythia and dogwood a plenty so that does come indoors anyway. Kerria grows like a rampant weed in my soil, must admit I hadn't thought about using it for flower displays, so again thanks for opening my eyes.
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          Wallflowers are biennials. I sowed seed in June/July 2016 and put on their green growth, then flowered the following spring. In August 2017 I had a packet of Autumn flowering wallflower (smaller than the traditional ones) which have been flowering since Oct/Nov and are still in flower now. Think they were called "Sugar Rush" or some such. Definitely one I will grow again :thumbsup:
           
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          • JWK

            JWK Gardener

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            Thanks @"M" - it's good to hear your experiences. I am currently googling wallflowers and see "Sugar Rush". I am going to get some seed of a few different varieties and make sowings this spring for next year's flowering :blue thumb:
             
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            • Steve R

              Steve R Soil Furtler

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              Not that I have done it yet myself, but I plan to as part of my cut flower project this year (Cut Flower Garden Project.)

              But Chrysanthemums (and Dahlias) can be grown on under cover until christmas time and beyond if the weather is mild.

              From Sarah Ravens website: "When the weather starts to get savage – not cold, but wild – we lift the dahlias in their pots and bring them into a greenhouse to fill the tomato beds. It's a successional system that works well and gives us plenty of flowers to pick until Christmas." that is on her Chrysanthemum page here How to plant and grow chrysanthemums so I assume she means Chrysanth's too.

              I'm also planning on planting some dogwoods for winter foliage (stems) as mentioned above and aanother plant that I cannot remember the name of for winter greenery..I'll get back to you on that one. But it is to make winter garlands/wreaths with dried flowers.

              I have daffs and tulips in one of my tunnel beds but neglected to check them this morning, I was setting up a digital thermometer to compare inside and outside temps from now on as I want a better understanding of what is going on.

              Steve...:)
               
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              • Scrungee

                Scrungee Well known for it

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                • JWK

                  JWK Gardener

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                  It was talking with an old boy about how people used to grow Chrysanths in the Autumn after their tomatoes had finished in the greenhouse that triggered me off on this. Unfortunately Chrysanths have been vetoed by Mrs JWK, she reckons they are nice to look at but have the fragrance of cat wee - so not allowed in the house :heehee:
                   
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                  • "M"

                    "M" Total Gardener

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                    They are, but would look fab with Tete-a-tete ;)
                     
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                    • JWK

                      JWK Gardener

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                      Thanks Scrungee, looking back I did actually grow "Sugar Rush" a couple of years ago, I got the plugs free (:)) from Van Meuwen, yes they were a bit too small for cuttings now I remember.

                      After a bit of googling I am going to get taller wallflower seed from Kings Seeds as they are still heavily discounted through the Allotment Society. Also Sarah Raven recommends a perennial wallflower: Erysimum 'Winter Orchid' which I will order in the spring.

                      Erysimum 'Winter Orchid'

                      She reckons
                      Time will tell if it really is as good as she promises.

                      Will have to go home via Homebase this evening to see if they have the tete-a-tete
                       
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                      • Scrungee

                        Scrungee Well known for it

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                        I have wondered about extending the season for Chrysanths as they are normally the last outdoor cutting flower left standing.


                        Coloured Willow?

                        [​IMG]
                         
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                          Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
                        • Steve R

                          Steve R Soil Furtler

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                          Nope, it's pittosporum, evergreen and grows wild around here so I just need to propagate a few cuttings for that.

                          Steve...:)
                           
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                          • KFF

                            KFF Total Gardener

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                            You can get Carnations that flower all Winter. They only need to be kept frost free.

                            There's a company called Allwoods that do mail order.
                             
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                            • JWK

                              JWK Gardener

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                              I never knew that so thanks @KFF - I have a bed of seed grown carnations in my allotment and they are pretty much trouble free and prolific - but only for a couple of months in mid-summer. I will investigate more on: Allwoods | Hassocks | Scented Garden Pinks
                               
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                              • JWK

                                JWK Gardener

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                                Having done a bit of googling I think I am growing the wrong variety down the allotment, I will try some of the perpetual flowering varieties for a longer cutting period.
                                 

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