Bulbous Plants for the Greenhouse – Growing Compost

For providing a summer display in the greenhouse, there is a wide range of plants to take over the flowering period where the spring and early summer bulbs leave off. These bulbous plants possess the added value in that most of them can be grown together in any ordinary greenhouse. It is not possible to grow to perfection the perpetual-flowering carnation which enjoys dry, cool conditions with the warm, moisture-loving begonias, but begonias and gloxinias will be quite happy together, and with them achimenes and clivias.

All seem to enjoy much the same summer temperatures, and though they will all grow well in an unheated greenhouse in summer, most of them must be stored in a completely frost-proof position during winter and spring. This will present no difficulty to the owner of a heated house, but it would be unwise to go to the expense of purchasing an expensive selection of these lovely plants if no suitable winter accommodation could be found for them. If neither hot-water pipes nor electrical heating can be provided, one of the modern paraffin-oil stoves which require attention only once a week will prevent the plants being damaged by frost. Many of the species, however, are perfectly happy in any place where severe frosts can be kept at bay.Growing Compost

Growing Compost

Before purchasing the plants or seed, a number of 48- or 60-size pots will be required and for these plants, earthenware pots, now reasonably inexpensive again, are most suitable. And the potting compost made up to the necessary requirements of the plants will be all-important. The now well-known John Innes Potting Compost may be used, but care should be taken to use exactly as prescribed. Trouble is often experienced when the ingredients are thought to be prescribed in too small amounts with the result that the fertilizers are often used in quantities that cause an unbalanced compost.

The John Innes Base consists of 2 lb. Horn meal, a lb. Super-phosphate of lime, 1 lb. Sulphate of potash. Growers may prefer to make up their own composts, but the John limes Base should be used in exactly the stated amounts. Coarse sand may be used in place of silver sand which may be more difficult to obtain and some growers use leaf mould instead of peat. This is not advisable for leaf mould frequently contains weed and disease spores which peat of good quality does not. Small quantities of very well-rotted manure, such as old mushroom-bed compost, may be used in addition. Above all, the compost should be friable and freshly made up and should be placed in the greenhouse for several days before being used, to take off the chill. See too that the compost comes from a nursery of repute, one who will not mix in almost sterile soil from a low spit instead of the virile soil from a good field of fibrous loam.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.