The first week in August is the time to put my tops on to my Early Chrysanthemum frame. You can cover your early flowering Chrysanthemum frame with any water proof materials such as polythene, corrugated sheets or white transparent tarpaulin. The latter being the best option in my opinion. If you decide to use clear polythene you should apply a thin coat of white silk emulsion or white masonry paint. This helps with the quality of the blooms by reflecting the heat of the sun, giving them shading and keeping them cool under the covers. My plants will get their last spray of insecticide against pests such as Red Spider Mite or Thrips.
When the tops have been on for about a week it is good to put some kind of shading under the covers such as fleece or muslin to absorb any moisture from condensation which may form under the covers. If you have an electricity supply it will help the quality of your flowers if you put osculating fans into the frame, to circulate the air under the covers. For me this is one of the best times of growing Chrysanthemums as you can watch the development of the flowers changing daily. Keep a keen eye open for earwigs, it is best to go under the covers at night with a torch and if they are there you will see them crawling about your blooms. The best thing to do is to pick them off and dispose of them away from your frame.
Be careful with the watering at this stage, only water on a morning because if you water at night this will create moisture under your covers which will cause high humidity and your blooms will damp off.
Towards the end of August check the show schedule dates to plan where you can show your flowers. It usually takes from 30 to 35 days from colour show for the bloom to be ready for the show bench.

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

Early Chrysanthemums
by John Peace
Your Early Flowering Chrysanthemums should be coming to an end by now and time for us to start cutting them down. I cut mine down to about two foot from the ground but leave all the basal growth on until about the end of October. Now give them a spray with a good insecticide and Pesticide to ensure you dont carry any pest and deseases into the next season.
During the flowering season you should have marked the stools from which you have cut the best flowers to ensure good stock selection. I do this by attaching one peg for a good flower and two pegs for a very good flower. At the end of October you need to start to lift and box up the selected stools. I do this over a few weeks, firstly lifting the stools, which I need to take the first cuttings from, such as Billy Bell, Joyce Frieda and Susan Kate (see in picture). I cut the stools back to 12”, cut off all of the basal growth, shake off all of the soil and trim the root ball. You then need to dip them in a solution of 10% bleach into a gallon of water, dipping for a couple of seconds and them wash them in clean cold water.
Box at least 12 stools into a plastic mushroom box, using a good multipurpose, peat based compost. Water them in and keep them cool and frost free. I leave mine under my covers or in a the cold frame.

NOVEMBER

EARLIES
By John Peace
By now you should have boxed up your stools. Before you remove your covers, (if covered) roughly dig over the soil. It is best to dig it over roughly, adding some organic matter such as a, good quality farm manure, leaving big clods of soil to allow the winter weather to break it down naturally. Make sure you avoid anything with wood chippings added, because wood chippings rob your soil of Nitrogen and will affect the size of next year’s blooms. You should now test the ph level in your soil. You can purchase a ph testing kit from any garden centre.
I try to get the ph level in my soil slightly higher than neutral about 7; I find this ideal for growing Chrysanthemums. If the ph level is low, generally speaking, to raise it by 0.5 you should add 15 oz per square yard for heavy soil and use less for sandy soils.
Now that you have roughly dug over your soil and added lime, if it was needed, you can now remove your covers to allow nature to do its job of breaking it down to a nice, fine, tilth.
This is a nice time to start thinking about what you would like to grow next year, considering adding new varieties, looking through the collection of suppliers catalogues, that you will have picked up through the season and start putting your orders in for new stock.

DECEMBER

New Varieties 2015
By John Peace
Every year Chrysanthemum growers look forward to seeing what new varieties are available from the well respected breeders, from various parts of the UK.
EARLIES

John Peace
Is releasing Arthur Ellis 25b Yellow. This is a lovely tight incurving intermediate, which should do well on the show bench.
John Peace, 9 Briardene Way, Easington Colliery, Peterlee, County Durham, SR8 3NR

Sam Oldham
Sam is also releasing Arthur Ellis 25b Yellow and Stellas Dream 14b White, named after the wife of the well known late grower Steve Joyce. It is a lovely crystal white October flowering reflex, which can be shown as an early or a late.
Sam Oldham Chrysanthemums, Oldham Nurseries, Main Road, Wrangle, Boston, Lincs PE22 9AT.

Frank Charlton
Frank is putting out a large white intermediate called Robina 25a White. This is a very large flower and looked very good at registration and was bred by Peter Fraser. Frank is also releasing Yellow Natalie Sarah 29d Yellow.
Frank Charlton, 3 Ashleigh Gardens, Cleadon, South Tyneside, SR6 7QA.

Vin Aldred
Vinny is releasing 4 varieties, Mary Brownbridge 29e Cream . This is named after the NCS Chairmans wife. It really caught my eye and the breeder was Bill Bahn. His next release is Yellow Natalie Sarah 29d Yellow. He also has a sport of the Southway Sheba, Chestnut Southway Sheba 29d Deep Bronze, lovely colour. The last of his releases is Apricot Southway Sheba 29d Deep Salmon.
Vin Aldred, 41 Shakespeare Crescent, Dronfield, Derbyshire, S18 1NB

Halls of Heddon
There are 2 new varieties from Halls, firstly one named after an old family friend and renowned breeder, who recently past away, Harry Lawson 14b, Deep Red. This cultivar can be grown as an early or a late. I have had the pleasure of growing this over the last two years and I know it will do really well. Secondly they are releasing and early spray called Edina 29d Light Pink, bred by Rod Fox. A lovely pink single.
Halls of Heddon, West Heddon Nursery Centre, Heddon on the Wall, Newcastle on Tyne, NE15 0JS.

Maurice Johnson
Maurice is only putting 1 forward this year and it is called Harry Buckle 14a Purple. A lovely purple reflex that will do well as an early or a late.
Maurice Johnson, 4 Richmond Avenue, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14 6NQ

Joe Jenkins
Joe has been breeding some good sprays over the last few years and this one is something really special. Named afer his wife who recently past away, Pat Jenkins 29d Light Red.
Joe Jenkins, 21 Brentwood Close, Holywell, Tyne and Wear, NE25 0PD

LATES

Ivor Mace
Ivor is releasing 2 cultivars, both large exhibition and they were bred by John Nevill. Patton section 1 Purple. Ivor has grown this and he states that you should not give it too much feed and grow it in a 9 inch pot. Stop it 20th April first crown for early November.
Louisiana section 1 Light Bronze , again bred by John Nevill. I have seen this one growing and it looks really good, with a lovely salmon, light red colour. Ivor rates this one really highly.
Ivor Mace, 2 Mace Lane, Ynyswen, Treorci, Rhondda, CF42 6DS

Eric Anderton
Eric is releasing 4 new Anemone’s, the first is called Harry Anderton 6b Light Pink. Second we have Hartley Anderton 6b Light Pink and third Tom Anderton 6b Light Pink and the fourth one, which I have seen myself looks really good, is called Anderton Polar 6b White.
Eric Anderton, 12 Hawthorn Crescent, Tottington, Near Bury. BL8 3NG

Ian Moss
Ian is releasing 2 new cultivars, first one raised by John Nevill, Euston section 2 Deep Pink. Ian has grown this for a number of years now and rates it very highly and says it will do really well in the medium exhibition classes. The next one was raised by Ann Brook and is called Marjorie Barnes, again a section 2 and is Light Pink. I have seen this twice this year at the late show at Stafford and again at Doncaster and it was shown in fine form.
Ian Moss, Beechwood Chrysanthemums, 18 Beechwood Grove, Prescott, Merseyside. L35 5AX.