Optimierung der Beetkultur

Page 1/6 Optimization tips for growing cyclamen in California adapted for outdoor use Optimization tips for growing cyclamen in California adapted for outdoor use The Californian climate is very suitable for growing cyclamen from summer up to the winter months. Warm temperatures with daily average between 60°F/70°F (15°C/20°C) from May to December combined with the usually low humidity levels make it easier to control the growth. It is maybe for this reason that the facilities in this area in general do not have any special protection for growing. They are equipped with shade structures of black cloth providing 50/70% of shade with optimal values of 3000 à 4000 fc light (300 to 400 w/m²). Although this will be sufficient for growing cyclamen, this type of structure may represent a certain risk with respect to seve- ral key points during the culture: - Strong rains can cause leaching of soil, a lower E.C. level, and consequently induce a delay of growth and flowering which are usually irreversible if they are not detected in time. - During the winter months (November until January) when days are shorter and average temperatures are lower, the amount of light is very limited under this type of structures. We know that the maximum level of light may reach values of even 5000 fc (500w/m²) without any risk for the culture. - Risk of proliferation of diseases like Anthracnose, Erwinia, Botrytis, etc, caused by heavy rains. Because of the splashes of rainwater, these diseases can proliferate quite rapidly. - With shade houses, the risk of frost damages is very high, even in areas where it freezes rarely . We have observed two methods of growing cyclamen in California: a first one as “ bedding plants ” and a second as “ pot plants ”. The first one is the most frequent way. The basic difference between both methods lays in the precision of environmental protection of the crop, irrigation and ferti- lization. When talking with sales people and growers, we realized the difficulty to confront high investments to improve crop conditions even when the aim is to improve the crop environment, the irrigation system and the feeding. The goal is always to improve the quality while keeping costs as low as possible. Our proposal is to consider some small investments and to optimize the results with more accurate applications and control throughout the culture. 1. Environmental control