We had some hot temperatures over the weekend and my guys had to stay on top of the new Grolink cuttings all weekend to make sure they didn’t get stressed. So far we have only had problems with one variety. The Urano Yellow cuttings looked like they stayed in the box one day too long. When that happens the leaves on the lower half of the cutting will turn yellow.
Yesterday was a great day for rooting mums. It was cloudy and cool all day. It wasn’t a good day to do anything else since it rained all day. Since it was raining we cleaned up the Urano Yellow cuttings. Now they look a little thin compared to the others, but they should continue to root without any more trouble.
Last night the low was 64 which was a nice change from the miserably humid lows around 80 that we have been having. Todays temperature is also great for growing mums.
We also moved the first batch of cuttings, the Yoder varieties, out of the heavily shaded rooting bay into the next bay over which does not have any shade. We did this to harden off the cuttings for planting in the field. The Yoder mums are looking really good. They have rooted out well with absolutely no problems whatsoever.
Tomorrow we will begin pinching a few select varieties. (Bob, if you read feel free to weigh in.) Most of the mum varieties available now a days are not supposed to require pinching. So why are we pinching them? I’ll tell you. The varieties that we do pinch we only pinch the ones that will be planted in out larger #12 pots (these are approximately 12″ in diameter). For example, we have 5,400 cuttings of Beth. 3,456 cuttings will go in our #6’s and #8’s and 1,944 will go into #12’s. We will only pinch the 1,944 cuttings that go in the #12’s. Last year we pinched all of the Yoder cuttings we planted in #12’s but this year I am gradually easing myself out of the pinched comfort zone. We will not be pinching the European Prophets in our #12’s. I am pretty sure that we could get by with out pinching any of the cuttings going since we have not been pinching the cuttings in the other sizes, and they have finished looking great. We still have the “not broke, don’t fix” mindset.
We also started “running our mum dirt” today which means that we are filling our pots with soilless media to plant the mum cuttings in out in the field. Then the dirt machine broke down which is about normal. Every year it breaks down at least once during mum season. It will work great all spring then WHAM. I have 7 people standing around until we get it fixed. I’ve been out there twice so far to get pictures, and it’s still not done.
Tomorrow I’ll have some pictures of the dirt running process. I know your excited about seeing it.
I almost forgot. It has been brought to my attention that my mum cuttings do not come from Central America. They come from Florida. Oops.