UK: National Cut Flower Centre open day on the 5th of August

This year's open evening event will commence with a visit to the deep pool hydroponics trial being staged at the Perch Holme Nursery site of J. A. Collison and Sons. The production system will be available for viewing and an update of performance so far provided.

Two other commercial nurseries are also undertaking additional trials examining alternative growing media for boxed lily production, focusing on anaerobic digestate and coir. The results from these trials will be presented at the CFC.

The CFC is once again hosting a number of AHDB Horticulture funded herbicide trials, undertaken by ADAS, to identify suitable replacements for oxidiazon (Ronstar Liquid) in the production of direct drilled Asters, sweet williams and wallflowers, as well identify suitable herbicides for use in larkspur production.

Trials at the main CFC site this year include an examination of Trachelium varieties, planting dates and the impact of pinching; an investigation of direct drilled fillers (grown both outside and under protection); an assessment of the performance of traditional Alstroemeria varieties when grown as a spot crop; Zinnia vase life and demonstration plots of various perennials, new varieties of pinks and carnations and hardy species for cut foliage. A large ornamental brassica variety trial will be planted this year, but plants will not be ready for harvest until the autumn.

This event will provide a good overview of the work in progress within the cut flower sector and permit discussion about future research ideas. The programme commences at the Perch Holme Nursery site of J. A. Collison and Son at 17.00 to view the deep pool hydroponics trial and will then progress to the main CFC site at Rookery Farm for an update on the wider range of work within the project and a tour of the trials. The event will be rounded off with a hog roast and an opportunity for informal discussion.

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