Forcing Roses project

Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005 – 5:29 p.m.

2005-01-25 5:29

Over the last two weeks, I have worked on setting up my inside project to try forcing period roses by the first of March. At Francesca’s suggestion, I got a set of metal bookshelves for in front of the windows and rearranged my kitchen furniture to accomidate. This also gave me a good structure to hang the lights from. I discovered that lamps I needed for the growlights are called “Brooder Lamps” (I guess because they are used in poultry brooding); they can handle up to 300 watt bulbs. I also figured out that a standard extension cord and light timer are able to handle the load (both are rated to up to 1200 watts and I am only pulling 320). Here is what the set up looks like:

I pulled in 4 pots from the beds: 2 of the smaller Rosa Mundi, a miniture that needed to be repotted anyway (its clay pot had disintegrated in the freezes over the last couple of years), and Tuscany (a Gallica rose like Rosa Mundi). I realized that most of the other had just gotten too big and I didn’t want to prune them that hard this year.)

In the library, I found a book called Production of Pot Roses by H. Brent Pemberton, John W. Kelly, and Jacques Ferare (ISBN 0-88192-379-6). It is written from the point of view of commercial production of live bushes in small pots for the florist trade during off-season (like blooming for Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day). Much of what it said is not really applicable to me, particularly at this point, but it did give me an idea of how much light, for how long, how much water, how much food, and how long it might take to get blooms.

One of the things it talked about was pruning the bushes hard to get new growth but it was talking about miniatures. I am not sure if that will work as well with the bushes I am trying to grow. Therefore, I tried a little experiment and pruned one of the Rosa Mundi pretty hard. We will see whether that makes a difference.

Ok so the BIG bush in the picture is the Tuscany and the two on outside are the Rosa Mundi. At this point, I am starting to see some bud swelling on the two unpruned plants.

Future project: cuttings

One of the other things I am hoping to do with this set up is to try root cuttings. So once the weather gets warmer and I get some blooms on plants in the garden, I will try doing some cuttings.

Oh, at it finally got cold….really cold…. it snowed 1.5 inches last week and it was 13 degrees on Monday morning. Yikes!

Ok enough for now…

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