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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 15: Symposium on Plant Production in Containers

POT GROWING AT BOSKOOP

Author:   I. B.C.M. van Elk
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1969.15.12
Abstract:
All over Western Europe there is a great interest in pot-grown plants. Owing to scarcity of skilled labour, the handling of the plants leaves more and more to be desired. When grown in containers the plants will no doubt survive better than with conventional handling.

Boskoop is a centre with 950 nurserymen. It exports its nursery produce for 90% and - as you will understand - we intend to furnish our customers with the material they want. Therefore these are hard times, for many nurserymen have to start trials with potgrown plants and partly change their well proved and familiar methods of growing plants. Pot growing is a very old method in the nursery, as Prof. Klougart already has shown. In France the nurserymen have always had difficulties with transplanting during the prevailing dry weather conditions. For this reason they hold their plants in clay pots with narrow long slides in the sides through which the roots can hardly escape.

At Boskoop we have potted Clematis, Cytisus and Pyracantha for a long time. This prevented:

  1. quick drying out of the roots when they are in open contact with the air, in general in plants with thick fleshy roots;
  2. damage of the root system when the plants are stuck around and dug before balling. In the rootball you will often find that the thick roots of several plants form new hair roots only very slowly. When these plants are not treated in the right way or are planted out during a hot or dry windy spring a certain number will dry out.

Some years ago we only thought of planting and transplanting during spring and autumn. At the moment the nurserymen would also like to extend the season of sale. Pot growing started in USA where the grower or the salesman took the plants to a big store or to a sales centre along a highway where the conditions were unfavourable. This automatically pushed the culture in the direction of pot growing with as little soil and space as possible.

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