Editor’s Note: In this new feature, the Greenhouse Grower varieties team will choose one noteworthy variety each month we think is worth bringing to your attention. Then we’ll share growers’ and breeders’ perspectives on the best ways to produce it successfully at your operation. This month we focus on the hardy Coreopsis UpTick series, winner of Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Industry’s Choice Medal of Excellence for Breeding.
Growing Tips From John Wilson, Seville Farms
When asked about producing Coreopsis UpTick, John Wilson says he doesn’t have much to say because it was so easy to grow. Wilson, a Corporate Grower for Seville Farms, says based on the new series’ strong performance during the trialing he has done so far, the nursery ordered a large quantity of the plants for future growing.
“If breeders were looking to come up with something that says ‘wow,’ they have done it with the UpTick Series,” Wilson says. “It was easy to grow, quick to fill out and flower, and didn’t need plant growth regulators.”
Wilson says one of the plant’s benefits is its fast finish. The first trial he did was in late February. He started the plants in 50-cell liners and finished them in 2.5-quart pots. With a smaller liner used as input, the grow time might be a few weeks longer, but still should be a fast finish. The plants were ready in six or seven weeks, with lots of color and good branching by the third week of April. Wilson began running a second trial in June to see how the series handles a Texas summer.
Here are a few things to note from Wilson’s trial experience:
Pinching: One pinch in the liner
Growth media: Peat-Lite or bark mix. Wilson chose straight peat mix for his trials.
Irrigation: Wilson says the plants didn’t get watered as well as they should have in the trial greenhouse for a period. Still, they tolerated the abuse pretty well.
Lighting: Wilson did not use supplemental lighting, although he says growers in certain areas might use interrupted night lighting if they desire a very early finish.
Disease: Wilson says the coreopsis resided next to some veronica plants during the trial. The veronica had problems with mildew while the Uptick coreopsis stayed clean.
Nutrition: Wilson used a low to medium rate of slow release fertilizer. He says 200 ppm nitrogen on a constant basis would be more than adequate.
Temperatures: Trial plants were grown with low 40°Fs night temperatures, and 55°F to 70°F day temperatures. “Pretty much whatever nature gave us,” Wilson says.
Production Quick Facts From Darwin Perennials
Propagation: Choose a well-drained medium with EC of 0.8 to 1.00 mmhos and a pH of 5.8 to 6.2. Maintain soil temperature at 70°F to 72°F until roots are visible.
Growth media: Prefers a medium high in organic matter. A pH of 5.8 to 6.2 is optimum.
Temperature: No vernalization is needed to flower. Maintain night temperatures between 55°F to 60°F and daytime temperatures between 60°F to 70°F.
Lighting: Performs best under moderate to high light levels of 5,000 to 8,000 footcandles (50,000 to 80,000 Lux).
Fertilizer: Use a balanced fertilizer at a rate of 150 to 175 ppm. Periodic use of a calcium-based fertilizer should help optimize the nutrient levels.
Water: Allow media to dry slightly between watering.