So here we are about 2 weeks later and the first lily of our crop to bloom. It’s a beautiful butter yellow lily with darker orange center markings. I think it’s the one called ‘Gironde’ but can’t be sure since its part of a collection and I can only see a tiny picture of it on the Gloeckner website.
Next week we have the Comercial Flower Growers Association meeting so the greenhouse will have some color. The floral students have a design seminar too so they will have some beautiful, fresh lilies to use in their creations.
The Oriental lilies are taking quite a bit longer to mature but that’s ok as we need staggered production. They are getting really tall however.
All in all I think this experiment with forcing lilies in crates was very successull and we will do it again next year. Its been an excellent crop to have in our greenhouses which are quite empty nti bedding pkants begin fillign them up in few weeks. I will reseacth some other options for winter to early spring cut flowers or crops to keep our students busy and me interested!
A few things I’d do differently to try to keep the height down. The stem diameter is good but they are very tall and beginning to lodge. Not a huge problem since we will cut them this week but..
Low light in the greenhouse – next year put on east side of house which is sunnier, not shaded by willow trees
Temperature – 68 deg day and night. The reccomendation is 50 degree nights. Since we don’t have a programmable thermostat the temperature is set manually and left with no day/night differential. We would have to remember to manually do this every day which might be difficult.
It seems like they grew and bloomed especially fast. I think we planted them around mid December. Gleockner doesn’t usually ship them until after Dec 22 and the winter solstice when days getting are longer.
So if the bulbs were planted mid December that would only be about 60 days to bloom. Gloeckner said 85-90 days so we are almost 2 weeks early! I’ll have to check my dates but I think I’m close. The warmer night temperature probably contributed to a faster crop time as well as the stretch
I’m hoping my last picture in this series will be of students cutting the stems and thier final floral design creations!