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Author Topic: Bulb Log 17-01-07  (Read 22684 times)

Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #60 on: January 24, 2007, 02:45:33 PM »
Thomas, this is valuable advice, especially for our friends in Germany ! Just goes to show how careful we should be with names; like using latin names for our plants so we can all understand what we have !!
It is a shame that you have lost some crocus babies, though.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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claykoplin

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #61 on: January 25, 2007, 03:54:51 PM »
I guess we don't feed babies steaks, and we shouldn't feed fritillaria seedlings.  I have heard "weak feeds", and "fresh water only" schools of thought from everything I've read re: fritillaria seedlings.  I think I'll err on the side of caution and use water only, and rely on the fresh compost I plant seeds in (with a little bonemeal) for their first year's nutrition.  I've read and re-read just about everything I can get my hands on regarding fritillaria culture (especially the bulb log!), and can't WAIT for the release of Janis Ruksan's new book with at least some sections on fritillaria.
in Cordova, Alaska

Valentin Wijnen

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2007, 08:57:04 PM »
Hi all,
I have been reading with quite some interest the discussion going further on for using 'patentkali' or 'sulphate of potash' as a fertilizer on snowdrops. It is always very useful to add the scientific factor provided by firms. In this context, the (copied) text from Ian was a good recapitulation on the effects of three different elements, N(itogen)P(hosphor)K(alium).
The 'patentkali' I bought some days ago, contains 30% of K2O, 10 % MgO and 42% SO3. Now, I think that a chemical reaction of those ingredients will be following next scheme:
K2O + SO3 -> K2SO4 (yes, for the purists amongst you I did not match the coefficients to balance up the molecules....). The water in the soil will react with the SO3, forming H2SO4. This sulphuracid compounds with K (potash)
What I do want to say is that, according to this principle, the discussion on which source of kalium (patentkali or sulphate of potash) you do provide, doesn't matter at all. On the other hand, it maybe gives an explanation to the 'burning' effect of some compounds of potash.
However, what I do miss in the discussion going on, is the influence on the biological system in the soil after a long time using chemical fertilizers. I am convinced on the effects for our snowdrops (and other bulbs, Luc and Thomas) on the short term.
On the other hand, just watching the evolution in agriculture using far more chemical fertilizers on meadows, I do observe that there are no more mushrooms in these 'treated' meadows. No mushrooms means that are less mycelia in the soil.... this is surely an effect from the chemical fertilzers, not from pesticides....
This takes me back to the beginning of the story: using to much chemicals on your plants cannot (most probably)be beneficial to the plants on the long term.
And than, to enhance the discussion even more: we- galantophiles and most probably the other bulblovers too- do know exactly that some growers of snowdrops do sell plants that are forced with too much chemical stuff, I think especially too much nitrogen. These snowdrops (or other bulbs) do suffer in the following year after replanting, showing more than other Galanthus diseases like stagonospora curtisii.... Well, guys, what upon this duscussion? Experiences?
Valentin Wijnen, 'Grakes Heredij',
www.grakesheredij.be
Hoeselt, NE part of Belgium

Valentin Wijnen

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #63 on: January 30, 2007, 09:16:13 PM »
I do refer to 'Snowdropman's' experience on exchanging Galanthus by copying :"When I exchange 'in the green' bulbs I lift the bulbs carefully, immediately wash off all soil from the roots, gently wrap the roots in paper towel & then wet this, put the snowdrop in a polythene bag, box it up and send it off the same day. I certainly have excellent results with bulbs received, that have been treated in this way, and understand that the bulbs that I send also re-establish well - the key point here is that all soil, and therefore the bulbs 'personal' mycelia/bacteria, is removed before the bulbs are sent."
Chris, I do hope that every grower does handle his snowdrops this way before sending them out, but I am sure that it is not the case with commercial growers.... In the past I often received plants that were not fresh anymore, being too long out of the soil. The leafs completely faded, the bulb being not firm... We all know some growers that are dealing this way even when selling very expensive, rare bulbs. See also above my remarks on 'feeding too much nitrogen'...;
After I have unpacked my (new bought/exchanged) snowdrops, I always give them a good bath/soak in fresh water for some 6-12 hours. This way they can fill up again their water supply and restore the 'tension' ( correct English?) of water in the cells of the root tips, and bulb itself. This should promote regrowth....maybe. Last year I attended a (good) lecture on this item. Someone (Wim Postuma) dug out a (big) clump of Galanthus elwesii and replanted it per 2. He dug out a different little group of two-three bulbs  every week, looking at the root activity. There was no single regrowth activity of the roots. These roots did not grow on, no new roots being formed.... They just seemed to 'vegetate'....
Is this again a plea for exchanging/selling/buying plants as dormant bulbs or isn't it?
Valentin Wijnen, 'Grakes Heredij',
www.grakesheredij.be
Hoeselt, NE part of Belgium

Lesley Cox

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #64 on: January 31, 2007, 02:43:04 AM »
I see some Galanthus nursery advertisements in my new (December) AGS Bulletin. All saying they supply bulbs "in the green." It is my opinion that the "must lift and replant in the green" is an old wives' tale which has been perpetuated over the years, with no good evidence or reason for its continuation. It is quite un-natural to lift bulbs when they are in full growth. None that I planted  in the green (except from bulbs in growth in their own individual pots) grew or flourished so well as those planted as dormant bulbs. Even those lifted and replanted right away, within my own garden, suffered somewhat.

I think all committed snowdrop growers should be insisting that their bulbs are bought either potted and growing in the pots or dormant. The nurseries may then get the message that they are doing growers - and the bulbs - no favours at all by selling/suplying "in the green."

Just as a footnote, there are some of us in other countries who are able to import snowdrops from time to time, but in the green - no way. All such imported bulbs MUST be dormant.
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Anthony Darby

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2007, 10:35:06 AM »
The 'patentkali' I bought some days ago, contains 30% of K2O, 10 % MgO and 42% SO3. Now, I think that a chemical reaction of those ingredients will be following next scheme:
K2O + SO3 -> K2SO4 (yes, for the purists amongst you I did not match the coefficients to balance up the molecules....). The water in the soil will react with the SO3, forming H2SO4. This sulphuracid compounds with K (potash)


The list of chemicals in the 'Patentkali' surely just indicates the ions present but not the associations? K2SO4 would be preferable to H2SO4.
Anthony Darby, Auckland, New Zealand.
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snowdropman

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2007, 01:24:01 PM »
I have been reading with quite some interest the discussion going further on for using 'patentkali' or 'sulphate of potash' as a fertilizer on snowdrops....However, what I do miss in the discussion going on, is the influence on the biological system in the soil after a long time using chemical fertilizers.

Valentin raises the possibility here that whilst the short term benefits of using Potash are accepted - the longer term effects may be negative.

Here in the UK we have a long tradition of using Potash in the garden, both on flowers & vegetables, to improve performance. One might assume therefore that, if the long term effects were negative then this would also be well understood in the UK by now. But perhaps not because the emphasis, in its use on flowers & vegetables, is mostly about the next crop i.e. the short term.

As both a long term advocate of the use of Potash on bulbs, and a long term user of same, I wonder if Ian might feel able to comment further on his experiences?
Chris Sanham
West Sussex, UK

Maggi Young

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Re: Bulb Log 17-01-07
« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2007, 04:16:19 PM »
I would imagine that Ian will likely make some response in a future Bulb Log.
I will make one observation now: 
Quote
Chris  says:But perhaps not because the emphasis, in its use on flowers & vegetables, is mostly about the next crop i.e. the short term.
Yes, there is a long history of potash use in the UK, but not exclusively on plants with a short term existence, it has been used also to promote flowering in shrubs, for example and perennials: I remember my late Grandfather making good use of it in that way over my lifetime, and I don't imagine he only started using potash when I was born, nor that he was the only person doing so. I am inlcined to think that long term damage would have been in evidence by now.
Also, going back to Valentin's words :
Quote
On the other hand, just watching the evolution in agriculture using far more chemical fertilizers on meadows, I do observe that there are no more mushrooms in these 'treated' meadows. No mushrooms means that are less mycelia in the soil.... this is surely an effect from the chemical fertilzers, not from pesticides....

Is it not the fact that farmers use fungicides on their crops? Would that not be a bigger factor to the decrease in mushroom growth than the other chemicals mentioned?
I would be happier if everyone, farmers and gardeners alike, in fact everyone in everyday life, used fewer chemicals and noxious substances but, like most things, a balance of use of some things in moderation is probably the best way.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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