It’s wild here now as we strive to process and then pot up the mountain of perennial orders that have come in. The bareroot roses have already been trimmed and potted and are in our minimum heat house in which the plants are kept between 28ºF and 34ºF in order that they might grow slowly as first roots develop and then later on the new growth comes on so that they are at least forming buds on a well branched plant by their targeted sale date of May 8th in time for Mother’s Day.
The perennial transplants coming in now are ready earlier about the last week of April and later stages of them are about May 15th through the first week of June. Quick processing of the plants is essential to sort the plants in alphabetical order according to their genus name and whether they require shade or full sun. Some of the plants are not in plugs but are bareroot and must be handled quickly lest they dry out and die from dehydration. Many bareroot items we receive need to be divided with a hatchet as they will not fit in the standard trade gallon. Then, a new count after the division must be done so that we can make the extra tags required for the extra plants created by division. The bareroot plants are potted first because of the danger of drying out.
Another problem that could occur with slow processing and then potting is the incidence of gray mold called Botrytis that will destroy the plants quickly as it rots the leaves and line of crown sometimes within
48 hours. Frequently upon arrival, the trays of plugs stacked in crates on pallets and about 6 foot high, touches of botrytis here and there so that the plants have to be sprayed with fungicide as well as be cleaned up by hand. After the plants are prepared for potting, they are potted and sent down the line on a roller conveyor as the carry trays are filled with 6 potted plants per each tray which then get placed on the floor of the minimum heat house.
Next week we begin moving some plants out into our movable roof structure called the Cravo and start receiving 4½ loads of nursery stock from Oregon!
Saturday is the last of our seminars with Jason Veil of the Secrest Arboretum. Join us at 11 a.m. this Saturday.
Busy, Busier and Busiest are the mantra at the nursery now.