Recently, following a discussion with a fellow enthusiast, I decided to experiment , using new types of containers to strike the cuttings .
The basic idea being- not having to keep potting them on ,and being able to plant out in the spring from this original container.
In addition one can check the progress of rooted cuttings.
The Root Trainers do have a problem for cuttings of violas and pansies, in as much that the covers do not have sufficient height for even small cuttings so I have had to improvise using larger tops to accommodate. However the covers are good for soaking the filled root-trainers , and for covering if seeds are sown.
I think ,with hindsight, that this year taking cuttings during the hottest part of the year so far in Oxfordshire was not the brightest of ideas.
Even in the shade temps are currently in the high 20’s. Forecast today to reach 30 c later this week!!!!thus preventing day time wilt has been a problem due to excessive evaporation from the very sandy cutting mix recommended even with covers used.
I have now tried to obviate this problem with the addition of equal parts vermiculite in compost used for some recent cuttings, but note do not use perlite, which will only increase the drainage, and would make the problem much worse.
I am planning to take the majority of my Florist cuttings (from over twenty) different named cultivars Fancy Pansy, Exhibition Violas and Show Pansy. in August and early Sept.
It is a fact that many more named cultivars exist, but held by very few growers and will not come true from seed all being hybrids. Commercial nurseries do not sell plants of these types as they are considered to be a specialist form of horticulture .
For anyone interested in a challenge please come and join us to seek plants and advice in growing, showing and breeding of these historical sorts.
Just put your questions/ comments on this website, and I will reply soonest.