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. Aphids can be a difficult problem in the spring if they become established.
  • Ventilate the greenhouse whenever possible.
  • Take cuttings from suitable shoots until early May.
  • Pot up rooted cuttings and pot on plants as the roots part fill the pot. Ensure show plants are in their final post and quite pot bound at the penultimate stop.
  • Turn plants through 90° every few days.
  • Apply a thin coat of shading to the glass in April as the conditions warrant.
  • Keep whips growing. When they have reached the desired height remove the growing tip leaving 3 to 5 sets of side shoots 3 for a small standard and 5 for a large. Stop the side shoots at 2 pairs of leaves for the bottom sets and one pair for the top set. Continue to stop at one to 2 pairs of stops to build up the shape of the head.
  • Stop show plants at every one to two pairs of leaves building up the shape. Move them outside on suitable days to harden up the growth.
  • Any plants for outside containers and decoration, don't stop them any more after late March or you will delay the flowering. Plant up any containers
  • Keep the glass clean to maximise light.
Cold Greenhouse
  • Plants should be coming back to life in the warming greenhouse, encourage shoots to break by misting plants with warm water on sunny mornings.
  • Be prepared to protect plants protected from frost by covering with fleece on frosty nights. Each layer gives 1-2°C frost protection.
  • Acclimatise any new brought in plants to your conditions. As they have probably been in a warmer environment, they may receive a check to their growth.
Frost-Free Storage
  • Get plants out of storage and remove any long white shoots. Don't worry about renmoving them they will regrow. Stand plants outside on suitable days to encourage new growth.
  • Garden hardy fuchsias should be cut back hard to the ground in March in the South and early April in the North. If fuchsia gall mite has been present burn everything that has been pruned off.
  • Once they have started to grow, hoe in some balanced fertiliser and organic material around the plants