Petunia Power

While we’re getting our flower seeds started for the season I thought I’d share what we are considering here at Bloom Master.

Petunias are loved in lawns, gardens, and hanging baskets; they’re probably the favorite in Bloom Master baskets and planters as well. With this general petunia popularity has come the constant development of new varieties, series, and best practices on how to grow and maintain these floriculture all-stars. This post will hopefully help you get the most out of your petunias.

 

Petunias classes:

Grandiflora – Most popular, largest flower

Multiflora – Smallest blooms, high disease tolerance

Florabunda – Combination of grandifloras and multifloras (e.g. Madness series)

Milliflora – True miniature plant

Trailing – Trailing stems (versus mounding) (e.g. Wave series)

*Double varieties (double layered petals) are available in all classes.

 

Starting from seed:

Germination Temperature Growing Temperature Days to Germinate Crop time (weeks) Light
75 – 78 F 55 – 58 F 6 – 10 15 – 18 Full Sun

Humidity for germination should be near 100%, soil moist but not saturated. Seedlings should get 2,500 foot candles of light to avoid stretching; 5,000 foot candles as they mature. However, be aware that too much light and too high of temperature may cause flowering too early. Weekly applications of nitrogen and potassium may be used. As you grow them on notice that petunias like cooler temps but they are not frost tolerant so keep them in until Mother’s Day.

 

Some Popular Series:

Avalanche – not particularly fussy trailing series

Supercascade (and Double) – 4″ flowers cascading habit

Celebrity – 3″ compact blooms long blooming season

Daddy – 4″ ruffled, veined, early blooms

Dreams – tight branching, excellent weather tolerance

Hulahoop – “picotee” edging (exterior color band)

Madness (and Double Madness) – Staple for landscaping

Picobella – dwarf, controlled mounding habit

Prism – massive blooms, award winning “Sunshine” color

Wave (Cool, Easy, Tidal, Double, Shock Wave) – so popular they made a whole “Wave Family.” They are known for their spreading quality 

Starting from Cuttings:

Besides seeds you can grow Petunias from vegetative cuttings. A couple favorite suppliers for a lot of our customers are Suntory and Proven Winners.  The favorites from PW are their branded “Supertunias.” At Suntory you’ll find their branded “Surfinias.” Both are known for their vigor and I haven’t heard any bad feedback about either of them. You might want to try Suntory’s new Surfinia double petunia or their standard trailing varieties. The favorite colors among the Supertunias are Bubblegum, hot petunia pink as you can imagine, and Bourdeaux, a high fashion plum vein.

 

So hopefully that helps as you start planning and planting for your spring flower displays. Email or call if you have any questions or post comments and questions on our facebook site – someone may have a good idea.

 

Happy planting!

 

 

 (Bloom Master 20″ Planter Box next to city bench)

 

 

Bloom Master on Facebook

Let the network begin! Bloom Master users can now help each other create the best
blooming baskets on the block by sharing tips and pictures on our facebook page

Check out our Facebook page; if you “like us” we’ll send you free packets of flower
seeds. Also check out the pictures and comments of other Bloom Master fans then
add your own. If you post a picture of you and your Bloom Master in the next month
we’ll throw in a free 2-gallon basket with your next purchase!

Like us on Facebook

Not Your Grandmother’s Strawberry Pot

We hear the Bloom Master get called a “Modern Strawberry Pot” pretty frequently. While it’s more than that they are definitely right—Bloom Masters are dang good strawberry pots! Visiting a lot of homes and nurseries I’ve seen some amazing success and some that are not quite there. So I thought I pass on some tricks of the trade as given by one of the professionals that seems to be getting it right.

I visited with Bart Flint of Flint Nurseries in West Point, Utah.  He sells thousands of strawberry baskets to Fred Meyer, Associated Foods, and other grocery market places in his region. And it’s no wonder because they look terrific. Here’s how you can copy his success.

Germinating

Mindful of cost, Bart starts from seed—Berry Basket ever-bearing variety, because they taste the best and grow well in a container. It’s best to sow your seeds in a 288 seed plug tray, or bigger cell, starting in November the last possible day of planting on December 1st if you want them in time for Mother’s Day. The seeds get a regular dose of 17-5-17 fertilizer until February, when they are ready to transplant.

Transplanting

In 2 – 3 months the strawberries will have good root development and will be ready to transplant. In his greenhouse Bart has a lot of plants growing not just strawberries so he has to keep things simple and conditions favorable for all his plants. He keeps the same fertilizer as he did on the seeds and the greenhouse temperature at 65 at night and 76 during the day. Watering needs after transplant fluctuates. You’ll want to let the pot get relatively dry before you water again (not constantly soggy). So that means right after transplant you may only water once a week, then three times a week, then during May it could be once a day. You kind of have to eyeball that one. But water thoroughly, until water drips out the bottom. By May the containers will be full with runners, flowers, and even berries spilling out of the Bloom Master.

With the greenhouse work done the next issue is delivery to the customer. Bart has his own trucks for the shipping process and it seems to work well. The retail stores have nearly 100% sell through so it’s a win-win for everyone. The strawberry baskets are a popular item; they’re great for condos or anyone that doesn’t have a yard they can dig up, and of course Mother’s Day. Bart chooses Bloom Master pots, first because they have holes in the side that are perfect for strawberries, but also because plastic pots use half as much water as the fiber ones.

And that’s about it for the strawberries—it is that simple. Bart says you could do the same thing with tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers but he is busy enough with just the berries.

Greetings!

Hi,

There always seem to be a moment when I know winter is over. That moment came last week as I passed by the orchard near my house. The farmers were out with their ladders and loppers; the apple trees were getting their late winter pruning. I had no idea we had already made it through winter. On to spring and spring planting! And we here at Bloom Master are ready for it.

To fill you in on what we’ve been up to over the winter we first need to offer a farewell salute to Marty. Marty, and the late Rance Searle, co-inventors extraordinaire, were the Bloom Masters over the last decade. Marty has passed on his knowledge and the torch as we have moved Bloom Master Headquarters to Salt Lake City. To get up to speed we have spent the last few months getting to know you, our customers. We’ve shipped out a lot of orders. We’ve met with a lot of city beautification folks, professional growers, big names and small names in the flower industry, garden centers, homeowners, and even vegetable gardeners. We’ve learned a lot from you and we hope to keep doing so. We know and love our product even more now, thanks to you.

 

And that’s how I want to start our first newsletter; introduce you to our blog and website. This is a call to all Bloom Master aficionados. We are making this website our little community where we can share questions and ideas and awesome pictures. We consistently hear great ideas from you all and want to share them with others. We get tough questions and hope some of you can help. We have started our photo gallery and have some pictures up but we want to highlight your work. We want to post your pictures. Please share! Actually we could create plantagrams named after you, your city, or your store. That is, if we all love it. And that depends on you-the community-and your comments.

So for the first post of the spring 2012 season and the first post of this new website we say to you what your flower baskets are saying to your friends and neighbors: Welcome! And come back often. Come to the website for new ideas, new products, and new arrangements. Come back to ask questions and come back to share answers. We’ll have voting and competitions, free stuff and crazy discounts. So stop in to see what’s new and let us know how things are growing.

 

Andrew