Chrysanthemums in Aberdeen

My year in pictures
 and video

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Date last updated: 
23 May 2011


My Year in pictures - November/December 
(last updated 23 May 2011 )

Propagation (see video 'Taking Cuttings)
My first cuttings (cultivar 'Lynn Johnson') are taken in the last week of November, and continues throughout December usually in the following sequence - 
week 1 : First batches of Chempak Roses and Billy Bells plus Woolley Globe
week 2 : First batches of John Wingfield family and Millennium plus Woolley Pride, also second batches of Chempak Roses and Billy Bells
week 3 : Carlene Welby and Lorna Wood and second batches of John Wingfields and Millennium.

The compost mix for propagation is soilless multi purpose and perlite (approximately 4 parts to one part). After the compost is put into the propagating trays and watered, a layer of perlite is sprinkled over the top before cuttings are inserted.

Update: Compost mixes 2011
In recent years compost manufacturers have been encouraged to incorporate recycled materials into what were previously 100% peat based composts, additionally they have incorporated water retention chemicals. There two factors have influenced the performance of the compost to the extent that I was not happy to use such composts for my chrysanthemums.

So, for 2011 I have been making my own composts using the following components:
- 50% riddled compost from earlies grown in pots in 2010
- 50% newly bought Irish Moss peat

To each 6 gallons of the above I added:
- Chempak Multipurpose Potting base in accordance with instructions on the packet
- 2 ounces of DCM Antagon

This mixture is being used at all stages from propagation to final potting.

I use a variety of containers - 84 cell plug trays (quite a large plug size), 60 cell plug trays (small plug size) and standard seed trays. I have some handy 10 cell trays which are also very useful.

Cuttings are either snapped or cut off the stool, Each cutting is then prepared by snapping below a leaf joint and removing the lower leaves to give a cutting that is about 2 inches long. The cuttings are then dipped in hormone rooting powder before inserting in the compost. I use a pencil to make a hole for the cutting and then firm it in gently and then watering the tray again.

Each tray of cuttings is placed in a cold part of the greenhouse for 7-10 days and sprayed regularly with cold water. After this 'cold period' the trays is placed on the propagator (bottom heat of about 55-60F). After a further fourteen days the cuttings are normally rooted and can be removed from the propagator. 

My propagation system:
my system consists of a propagating blanket. This is a heavy duty aluminium blanket with a copper wire running through it . There is a sensitive thermostat which controls the temperature through a remote sensor that is inserted into the rooting medium alongside the cuttings. I set the thermostat to provide bottom heat in the range 55-60F and try to control the air temperature in the greenhouse so that it does not fall below 40F.

The components of the propagating setup are:-
- a base board to keep things flat and support the blanket;
- 1" polystyrene tiles for insulation;
- the blanket itself;
- a sheet of heavy duty polythene to protect the blanket;
- finally, capillary matting to keep the containers moist.

Video Library

Lates videos 2009

October Jobs  (Filmstrip)

Chrysanth stool

Taking Cuttings

First Potting 

Second potting from container

Second potting from tray

Antagon Properties


March Tour

July Tours

August Tours

Straighten cocked bud

Bud Bagging

Roof system for Earlies

Wire supported bags

Bloom Bagging (1)

Bloom Bagging (2)

Bloom Protection Frames

Bloom shading

Dressing Blooms

Bloom Transport

Exhibits 2008 (Filmstrip)

rooting-mix.jpg (33768 bytes) cuttings.jpg (34183 bytes) blanket.jpg (25491 bytes) vo4.jpg (30405 bytes) lorna-roots.jpg (33566 bytes)
Compost components Cuttings prepared Propagator A cutting after 
13 days
End result

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Copyright 2009 Paul Barlow.