Today, January 31, is warm and cloudy. I am walking around the nursery looking at the seedlings and rooting cuttings, wishing that we could speed things up a bit. These nice seedlings are ready to plant into an intermediate container – probably a 2″ cell – to grow on a bit before we use them in planters for our spring fundraiser sales. We like hybrid geraniums for this use because of their strong performance, high flower count, and clear colors.
Our Oregon state nursery inspector dropped by today to see what sort of insects are present on our crops. We went into the nursery together looking for thrips, mites, aphids, and other badguys of the nursery world. Things looked good; the worst offender was a large 4′ tall coffee plant that an employee brought from home. Mites, aphids and mealy bugs (gick!) were all to be found on the coffee plant. Fortunately, the plant was in a well-lit room and not in a greenhouse. It’s always my pet plants – the ones I grow for the fun of it – orchids, alocasias, and bananas, that have the critters on them.
Today the crew is planting 4″ perennials. We’ve grown them through the winter in 105 count cells…. we used to plant them in the fall and carry them unheated through the winter, but the crazy winters the last few years have made it necessary for us to have the option of heating them during extreme cold weather. So now we sow at the same time – August through October depending on the vigor of the seedlings, and grow them through the winter in 1″ cells in houses with heaters set too 45 degrees night, and then plant them to 4″ pots in January. Pix tomorrow, they look good!