Bells of Ireland

busylizzy(z5 PA)January 19, 2009

Last season I had crop failure for the Bells of Ireland.

wondering if I didn't give them enough chill days.

Want to get it right this year

Spring 08 was wild here, 37 to 97 in 2 weeks.

Peonies and Iris were bud to done in one week

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flower_farmer(5/6 MI)

Well, thanks for reminding me. Yes, last year we had two seasons: winter and summer. And, so true about the peonies and iris. The fruit farmers here suffered a huge loss last season because it went from freezing temperatures, and up in the 80s when the fruit trees were in bud, and then we had a hard freeze. I don't even remember the forsythia being in bloom. This is usually a sign of spring for us here.

Some growers have better luck winter sowing Bells of Ireland. They like the soil to be cool; and, as you mentioned the soil warmed up pretty quick in May. The Canterbury Bells weren't happy either. We moved pretty good size plants to the field in April thinking they would still get enough cold and slight frost. But, the Agrostemma, (which were smaller plants and really like to have a light frost as well) did fantastic when we planted them in the field in April.

Here's hoping we actually have a spring this season. And, an autumn as well.

Trish

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 9:58AM
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steve22802(7a VA)

I would second Trish's suggestion to winter sow your Bells of Ireland. Two seasons ago I saved seeds from my mom's Bells of Ireland and I was waiting to plant them until what I thought was an appropriate time when she mentioned to me that she had lots of self sowed babies popping up all over her patch from last year. So I went ahead and sowed mine but mine germinated poorly and I ended up transplanting babies from her patch which was thick with them. My transplants grew well but bloomed later than hers which grew where they fell the season before. So this year I'm going to plant mine soon since they seem to endure the cold perfectly well and seem to know when to germinate better than I. ;)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 12:03PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Oh, I forgot about the Canterbury Bells, your right.
I ended up resowing the zinnias the snaps got fried.
I have marked in the journal, moved the 5 gal perennials by the shovelful in April, no shock due to the rains.
The best moonphase in May we had pouring rain, you could not get into the fields until the 1st week of June.

For fruit farmers here, it was weird, perfect timing..we had just enough wind so they had pollination, bumper crops here. No June drop either, that was odd.

Our Autumn started the second week of August, what a mess with powdery mildew, I have noted blankets and hot chocolate around the pool August 9th.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 3:20PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

I had great luck last spring sowing Bells of Ireland, along with agrostemma and bachelor buttons, a few days after the snow left the garden. It was April 9. Unfortunately, the larkspur and bupleurum that went in the same day didn't do nearly as well.

Trish, I well remember that last hard freeze here in Michigan. It was the night of May 27th and I had just set out some cosmos the day before. Also, we ended up with exactly zero fruit on any of our eight apple trees.

ThinMan

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 6:32PM
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ekgrows

I am growing these for bouquets the first time this year. Can anyone tell me how many cuts you get off one plant? Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 8:15PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Thin, your the first post I have seen with success in a close zone to mine.
I plan on sowing at different months to see what happens.
Also. Larkspur member familes like old wood ashes, if you can get some sprinkle where you will sow seed.
Larkspur and Delphniums remain to be my favorites, for cutting and pressing.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 10:07PM
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