We are patiently waiting for the first of our narcissi to start poking up through the ground. This is always a rewarding sight as it means the hard work of the outdoor team over the summer months has paid off. In our previous blog post we looked at how burning the fields helps our narcissi crop. However we also use another method that involves covering certain fields in polythene at strategic times of the year.
Once the drier months of May and June arrive we start covering some of our narcissi fields with polythene. Covering the fields at this time of year helps to advance our narcissi crop by heating the soil. In many ways this is more effective than burning the fields as it occurs over a longer period of time, usually three or four weeks. We also pump smoke under the polythene to help assist the process artificially. As well as heating the ground the ethylene gas in the smoke also has a beneficial effect on flower quality and yield.
The result of this process, along with favourable weather conditions, means that we should be able to start picking narcissi by the end of October.
Covering fields in polythene in August can also help us to prolong the narcissi season. Keeping the soil dry will retard the later crops.
We will keep you posted as to when our beautifully scented gift boxes of narcissi are ready to send.