BFS Snowfire
Firstly I hope you all like the new look of the website.
I hope all your plants are growing well in the green house, though mine could do with a bit more sunlight rather than all the grey cloud and resulting dull light we have had! I hope all members have survived the recent storms without damage and flooding.
Keep a sharp eye out for any pests or diseases and treat as soon as possible. This is the time of year that aphids appear in the greenhouse and if you don't get them under control quickly they will spread rapidly. Any new plants you bring in check them thoroughly and if possible isolate them from you other plants for a couple of weeks.
Fuchsia gall mite is likely to be very bad this year because of the mild winter. In the Portishead area I have seen hardy fuchsias which have not been cut down with old galls next to new growth. For that reason I will cut all my outside hardies, already cut back by one third, down hard to the ground this week. There is a report from the south coast that they have already seen gall mite symptoms on new growth.
Wishing you a happy growing year for 2020.

Heated Greenhouse
  • Remove any old or yellowing leaves and treat any pests or disease as soon as seen.
  • Ventilate the greenhouse whenever possible.
  • Take cuttings from suitable shoots.
  • Turn plants through 90° every few days.
  • Keep the glass clean to maximise light.
  • Keep any whips being grown up to standards growing supported by a cane and keep 3 to 5 sets of the uppermost side shoots, removing any lower ones. Pot on as soon as the roots reach the bottom of the pot.
  • Stop show plants at every one to two pairs of leaves building up the shape.
Cold Greenhouse
  • Keep dormant plants protected from frost by covering with fleece on frosty nights. Each layer gives 1-2°C frost protection.
  • In bitterly cold weather some minimal heating may be needed to prevent temperatures falling to the point the plants are killed.
Frost-Free Storage
  • Check the plants every three to four weeks. The root balls of dormant plants should be kept moist, not dry not soaking wet.
  • Garden hardy fuchsias should be trimmed back by approx. one third to remove any soft growth. However, if fuchsia gall mite has been present cut hard to the ground and burn everything that has been pruned off.