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Author Topic: Bulb Log 46 2013  (Read 2261 times)

tonyg

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Bulb Log 46 2013
« on: November 13, 2013, 11:51:04 PM »
Another great log and several interesting observations. 

Everything looks so clean and well organised in your greenhouses.  While my frames are tidy my greenhouse is crying out for some tlc  :(  Your narcissus are much in advance of mine.  I repotted (and watered) late, I guess yours got an earlier start and perhaps need it with the short winter days and cold ahead.  The Crocus labelled pulchellus might be worth another look .... or did you mean to say goulimyi?  ;)  The late flowering form of Scilla lingulata proved the least hardy here when the extreme cold late in 2010 took a bite out of my collection.  I do recall that it was a good doer like the other forms, quickly filling the pot with new bulbs.  The cramped conditions that resulted led to small bulbs if not repotted and 'thinned out'.  Small bulbs = lots of leaf, fewer flowers, so overcrowding might be a contributory factor.

Matt T

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2013, 12:54:49 PM »
Much the same story out here. I can only look at the advanced state of Ian's Narcissus with envy. Summer was pretty much a non-event out here, not very warm or sunny and then slowly sliding into autumn, which just brought more of the same! It has finally turned a bit more wintery now, which I hope will give some of my bulbs the kick they're needing. However, 'Camoro' does have some good buds on it and cantabricus monophyllus is romping away, so there should be something to brighten the winter days.

Ian - as a 'newbie' to the forum I just want to say how much I enjoy your weekly installments, both before and now that I'm a paid up member. I find them to be an invaluable resource and are my first port of call when I need any guidance on bulb cultivation. It's also nice to take a virtual peek around someone else's greenhouses, frames and borders - I don't get much opportunity for that out here. There'll be a bulb log audience here for as long as you want to keep going!
Matt Topsfield
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Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »
Tony, since the new staging I still have to pinch myself to believe that is my bulb house, the Frit house does not look so tidy - it will get a make over next year.

Thanks for pointing out my stupid error, I guess I could blame still being tired form my North American adventure but I seem to have some kind of mental block going on when it comes to Crocus goulimyi as I regularly muddle the name up. Of course it is easy to see the difference, I will go in and correct that caption.

Thanks for your kind comments Matt, interesting to here how the Narcissus and other bulbs behave in the far west.
I believe it is the falling temperature that triggers the bulbs into growth and that temperature falls sooner that Tony's in the south and I suspect yours Matt.
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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brianw

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 10:25:56 PM »
I don't think I would have  the courage to label a plant "Sleep", especially that one. It does not need any encouragement in that direction.
The first 5 or so leaves of mine this year were all bitten off by mice. I have caught 1 for each leaf so far and the pot is now filling well with green. Even had 1 flower last year. I live in hope.
Sternbergia sicula in flower were on sale at the AGS agm last weekend. How long from flower to seed pod in Aberdeen?
Edge of Chiltern hills, 25 miles west of London, England

Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 12:46:58 PM »
Brian, the seed pod started to form immediately after the flower faded which was sometime in September. I did actively cross fertilise with other clones.
I will not count my chickens (seeds) until they have hatched as I have often been disappointed when fat seed pods have nothing but air inside.

As for the Frit Davidii I am watching out for mice, slugs, and anything else that may have their sights set on this as an easy snack.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 03:11:31 PM by Ian Y »
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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Matt T

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 10:32:16 PM »
I believe it is the falling temperature that triggers the bulbs into growth and that temperature falls sooner that Tony's in the south and I suspect yours Matt.

The Met Office has an interesting page where you can find long-term average climate data, 1981-2010 - http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate/benbecula-(balivanich)-airport-na-h-eileanan-siar#?tab=climateTables. There's a tab that allows you to do a 'location comparison' with other weather stations in the UK. It's very interesting to see the quite significant difference in temperatures between Benbecula and Aberdeen.

You drop from an average max of 18.3oC in August to 12.4oC in October = 5.9oC.
Here in Benbecula our Aug ave max is 16.1oC dropping to 14.9oC in October - a measly 1.2oC differential.

Taking average minimum you go from 10.5oC in Aug to 5.9oC in Oct = 6.6oC difference.
Here our ave min is 11.5oC in Aug falling to 7.8oC in Oct = 3.7oC.

The difference between your Aug ave max and October ave min is 12.4oC. Here it is 8.3oC.

So there are clearly very significant differences in the seasonal temperature gradients, with ours being much more equable. Whilst falling temperatures are clearly important it would be interesting to know what the precise trigger points are. I must do a Google search on this some time.

As an environmental scientist, I find this fascinating, but equally so as a narcissus grower. I've kept my frames open through the summer to maintain good ventilation and avoid any issues with humidity (a key concern here with 4' of rainfall a year). However, I'm tempted to try keeping the frames shut next summer to allow the temperature to get up in the frames, which might give a starker drop in temperature in the autumn and trigger my bulbs into growth sooner. The trouble with our slow start here is that it's still relatively warm and the plants get quite etiolated for want of daylength (the gardeners too sometimes!). There's lot's of potential for experiments here...

Matt Topsfield
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Ian Y

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 09:29:27 AM »
Matt
This is one of the fascinations and secrets that bulbs hold for me.
I would love to know the full answer but suspect it is more complex than I may think involving parameters other than the temperature gradient.
The figures you show are a great insight and I thank you for sharing them.
The flowering of these Narcissus also depends on the temperature after root growth is initiated.
 If it is relatively mild they go on and flower as they are doing this year - in colder years they may delay flowering until February - and the degree of that cold is relative to the summer temperature so again I think it is a gradient rather than an absolute temperature.
Spring flowering bulbs tend to flower earlier in the warmer south while autumn flowering ones flower earlier in the cool north.
So much to try and understand.

We also suffer the etiolated growth in our low winter light levels as do our plants!!



 
Ian Young, Aberdeen North East Scotland   - 
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tonyg

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 12:22:28 PM »
We also suffer the etiolated growth in our low winter light levels as do our plants!!
But surely that should make you taller ..... than you are  :D

A fascinating discussion, I will take a look at the data Matt refers to for my area (when time allows!) and see how it compares.

Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 02:15:00 PM »
But surely that should make you taller ..... than you are  :D

Exactly! We get tall and spindly ( even me!!!) - but then when we dry out in front of the fire from getting soaked by all the rain we get - we shrink down to hobbit sized again!!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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David Nicholson

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 02:52:07 PM »
Exactly! We get tall and spindly ( even me!!!) - but then when we dry out in front of the fire from getting soaked by all the rain we get - we shrink down to hobbit sized again!!

If that applied I'd be able to sit on the point of a needle! ;D
David Nicholson
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Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 46 2013
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2013, 06:13:09 PM »
Interesting discussion on soil temperature variation with depth in a bulb garden - from the Pacific Bulb Society Lists including some experiments from Forum members.......

http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbslist/2013-November/ml9tl73ahso29m8as3jgetr2r3.html
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