Aster September Ruby
Cultural Hints:Cut flower production: Control the weed regularly. Keep the soil level open. Remove the plant tops for a better branching and good plant quality. Be aware of Powdery Mildew and Aster Rust in the second half of the crop.
Familiy, Origin:Asteraceae, North America
Sitelocation:Full sun - partial shade
Garden Height:120 cm,47,24 inch
Natural flowertime:September - October
Crop Time:Plug crop: 6 weeks; Green pots: 8-10 weeks; Flowering pots: 16 weeks, annual cultivation; Flowering pots: 8-10 months, with vernalization; Cut flower production: 3-4 years
Seed Form:Raw Seed
Seed Count:2500 K/g
Sowing Method:3-5 seeds per plug
Germination:14-20 days at 18-21 ¡ãC, in media with very low soluble salt levels and pH: 5.5-6.0. Cover seed lightly with vermiculite after sowing. Keep soil slightly moist but not wet.
Plug Culture:From Stage II* reduce the soil moisture, but the plug should not dry out and reduce the temperature to 15-18¡ã C. Do not let soluble salt level rise above 0,75 EC. Start fertilization at 50-75 ppm nitrogen in a well balanced formula. During Stage III and Stage IV fertilization levels can be increased to 150-220 ppm.
Growing On:4-5 weeks after sowing transplant 1 plant per plug tray (3-4 cm) and 4 weeks later transplant 1 plant into a pot (8-10 cm), 2-4 plants into a bigger pot (10-15 cm) or a container (3-5 l). Two time transplantation will support the young plant quality. For full flowering annual transplant several plants into one pot. Plant cut flowers in 60-80 x 80 cm space and use nets to keep the stems upright.
Media:Use a well-drained, growing perennial substrate with 0-15 % clay, 0-15 % organic parts (e.g. bark, wood fibres),1-2 kg/m3 complete balanced fertilizer, 0-3 kg/m3 slow release fertilizer (3-9 months), iron-chelate, micronutrients, pH: 5.5-6.0. Field: sandy, loamy soils with good drainage and good nutrition levels. Standard fertilization: 80-100 g/m2 slow release fertilizer.
Photoperiod / Light:Short day plants. For flowering short days and for the growth long days are required. Cultivate the plants for 2-4 weeks in long day (14-16 h, 30-50 klx) firstly. When the plants have the desired height, start the short days for flowering. For the flowering minimum 6 weeks, better 10-12 weeks of 8 h are required. For darkening maximum of light level is 3 lx. Start in early spring or winter with assimilation light for good plant quality. Night interruption is possible.
Temperature:Grow at 12-15 ¡ãC or outdoors. In winter indoors frost free at 3-5 ¡ãC or outdoors. At mid December the plants start to grow for 5-7 weeks at 15-18 ¡ãC. Cold temperatures at 7-12 ¡ãC will increase the cultivation time. Temperatures above 25 ¡ãC cause a pre-induction of the flower.
Fertilization:High fertilization levels are required. Fertilize the crop weekly with 150-200 ppm nitrogen (at 3 kg/m3 slow release fertilizer in substrate), using a potassium balanced fertilizer (N: K2O-ratio: 1:1,5). Avoid high ammonium and high nitrogen levels. Don't fertilize after mid September. In spring fertilize 150-200 ppm nitrogen of a potassium balanced fertilizer. Prevent magnesium deficiency by applying magnesium sulphate (0,05 %) 1-2 times and in case of iron deficiency (above pH 6.0) apply iron-chelate for 1-2 times. Field: If necessary according to analysis, improve the soil with 80-100 g/m2 fertilizer in several portions yearly. N min soil value: approximately 130 g N/m2.
Cut Flowers:Cut flower stems can be harvested, when 25 % of the flowers are open. Vase life: 14-18 days. Cold storage is possible. After harvest, cut plants back to the soil level.