Hyacinths are native to Greece and Asia Minor. They produce a fragrant flower that may be purple, white, pink, or multicolored. Most hyacinths are produced in Holland. The majority of hyacinths are sold between January 3 and Valentine’s Day.
Hyacinths are available to forcers as prepared bulbs or regular bulbs. Prepared bulbs require about 10 weeks of cold. They are used for early forcing Regular bulbs need about 13 weeks to satisfy the cold requirement. Regular bulbs produce a better-looking plant than do prepared bulbs.
They require a very well-drained growing medium. They can be grown with one bulb in pot or a number of bulbs in larger pots. Use of short bulb pans provides a stable appearance.
Count backwards on a calendar the number of weeks to produce the crop, beginning from the sale date. The bulbs might need to be held from the time of their arrival until cooling. Hold prepared and regular bulbs if necessary.
Provide rooting room temperatures for about four weeks or until roots grow out the bottom of the containers.
The longer the cooling period, the shorter period of time it takes to force hyacinths. December crops can be forced at greenhouse temperatures.
Hyacinths require only a few weeks in the greenhouse. Sell the crop before it flowers, arid let the buyer force the plant the last three to four days.
One problem cf hyacinths is known as splitting. Splitting is a condition where the flower stalk separates from the basal plate. Once separated, the flowers fail to develop. It is caused by changes in temperature that cause the bulb to expand and contract. Freezing of the bulbs can also lead to this problem. Splitting is more common with purple varieties.
Intermittent Mist Systems for Plant Propagation
An intermittent mist system delivers water in tiny droplets for the purpose of keeping plant material moist. Intermittent mist systems are used for plant propagation. When taken, cuttings are without roots to absorb water. The mist system can relieve water stress on the cuttings until the cuttings develop roots. Mist systems permit higher light intensity. The higher light intensity increases sugar production and hence, speeds the production of roots.
Intermittent mist systems can operate continuously or be set to mist the plants at regular intervals Since there is less water stress at night, mist systems are set to operate only during the day. A solenoid valve controls the flow of water through the system. The solenoid is activated by one of three control mechanisms.
A time clock can be set to determine the time of day the mist system will operate. It also is set for the frequency and duration of the mists. A typical frequency of operation during the day might be 30 seconds every ten minutes.
A weighted leaf system consists of a fine metal mesh leaf that is balanced with a switch. When the leaf is dry, it triggers the switch to turn on the mist. The leaf system better reflects the conditions in the greenhouse than a clock timer does. It is more active on warm, sunny days, than cool, cloudy days.
A third controlling device involves a computer Computer devices program the frequency and duration of the mists. They can also take into account the environmental conditions in the greenhouse.