Leading the way with Dianthus
Growing Perpetual Carnations by Hydroponics
Notts and BNCS member Dave Murray from Mansfield has been growing all his Perpetual Carnations by passive Hydroponics culture method for over 10 years. Dave has found that pot culture is the simplest form of hydroponics and involves the use of an inert medium such as perlite in a plastic pot and he has achieved good results. Perlite is an excellent medium, is cheap, lightweight and effective due to it's superb capillarity which is the ability to lift moisture from a reservoir.
Dave uses 5 litre plastic pots which sits in a 9 inch saucer and he reduces the size of the holes in the bottom of the pots by means of waterproof tape. The pots are then filled with moistened perlite which avoids the dust from dry perlite and are filled to three quarter capacity and 6 holes are then made around the outside of each pot.
The rooted P.F cuttings are then washed under water to remove all traces of soil/compost and a cutting is inserted into each hole. A 7th cutting is then inserted into the centre of each pot.
Each saucer is then filled with water and the plants grow away with ease. Once the water in the saucer is used Dave then commences to feed via a watering can through the top of the perlite pushing any stale air and allowing fresh air to follow the nutrient into the pot and stop when the saucer is full of liquid. When the saucer empties then it is time to feed once again.
Please find attached some photos of Dave's plants which were taken on Saturday 25th February 2012 and please note some of the plants are small as they have been recently inserted into the perlite medium