UK: Opportunity to see Cut Flower Centre trials

The HDC funded National Cut Flower Centre (CFC) will host another popular open day next month when it opens it doors for visitors to view the second year of a five year programme of HDC funded trials that features a combination of new product development and research on ‘mainstream’ crops.

The National Cut Flower Centre Open Day takes place on 6 August. Each year trials are staged both at the CFC as well as on a commercial cut flower nursery. this year's theme is alternative growing media for tray-grown cut flower lilies and the trial includes a range of substrates based on green compost, anaerobic digestate and coir. Trials at the CFC include an evaluation of direct seeded ‘filler’ species (grown both outdoors and under protection), a ‘spot crop’ of traditional alstroemeria, a zinnia variety trial, demonstration plots of various perennials (including a blacked out Aster ericoides trial) and hardy foliage, and indoor sunflower variety trials. Plant species included in the new product trials for 2014 include: Dicentra, Leonotis, Trachelium and ornamental peppers. Attendees to the event will be able to see both the 'on nursery' trials at E. M. Cole Farms Ltd as well as at CFC.
 
This year the CFC is also hosting a number of herbicide trials to look at potential replacements for Ronstar Liquid as well as a lily herbicide trial. The former work has been undertaken on direct drilled and transplanted asters as well as sweet williams and wallflowers. The aster and lily trials have been timed to coincide with the open day.

The event not only provides growers with an overview of the trials but also details of other relevant on-going HDC funded work such as the Managing Ornamental Plants Sustainably (MOPS) programme. As ever, it is also an important opportunity to contribute to the planning of future work within the cut flower sector. John Atwood of ADAS, Debbie Wilson of HDC and Lyndon Mason from the Cut Flower Centre will all give talks at the event.

The event starts at E. M. Cole Farms Ltd, (West Pinchbeck) at 17.00 to view the alternative growing media trials and will then move to the CFC site at Rookery Farm for the remainder of the evening. The event will be rounded off with a hog roast and a chance to informally discuss developments at the CFC and in the cut flower sector.

For full details about this event and how to book a place click here.

Source: www.hdc.org.uk

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