Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Journal August 15, 2018 Carnations in a can.

Winters in upstate New York tend to be pretty dismal, so I was casting around looking for a fragrant flower to grow hydroponically to dispel some of the winter gloom.  I was looking for something that did not take up a lot of space and would grow well hydroponically.

In my seed cache, I came across a packet of Dwarf Fragrance mix carnations from Ed Hume Seeds that I purchased years ago.  I started some seeds in a used coffee container to grow deep water culture with a wick.  I found that the container was just the right diameter to support a 3" net pot.  The media is in the 3" net pot and consists of 80% agricultural perlite,  a thin layer of coco coir holding the seeds and a thin layer of activated charcoal covering the coir.  For nutrients, I am using the same mix and strength that I use for basil, except, I have been adding .5 ml of a potent phosphate to promote flowering. 

As the plants grew it was necessary to add a few skewers to support the plants as they tend to be top heavy.  My objective is to grow flowers, not to win an award for the most attractive plant.

As I recall I tried to grow these same seeds in the greenhouse but abandoned the idea because the plant was a magnet for spider mites.

In the meantime, I have purchased seeds for a similar variety that only grows to a height of six to eight inches, which would be ideal if the flowers are not tiny also.

The plants are easy to grow and take up hardly any space so I will be growing a lot more canned carnations this winter season.  

P.S. The flowers are opening and they smell fantastic!  I am going to start another batch to keep the supply going.


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