Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland

Refrigeration

April 7, 2008
By

Categories: Show Prep and Exhibiting, Shows

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  There has been some discussion about how long flowers survive under refrigerated conditions. I’m told 2-5C is ideal but even with 3 thermometers I’m not sure what temp. range I achieve. At times I’ve had ice in the water and at others the readings have been up to 8c – even 10c on one occasion – so, perhaps I’m not alone in that I have too many unknowns – the accuracy of thermometers and the range of the thermostat ? And to-morow we have a power cut for 10 hours!

  I do know that standard daffodils keep well for more than 2 weeks if put in my fridge at early maturity. Soon I’m about to find out how many of these miniatures can last until the London Show on 15th April – more than two weeks for some of them.
  Meanwhile the standards wisely refuse to open in the windy cold wet – (rain, HAIL and sleet) that we are getting at present. Those that had opened now have shattered petals and even those that were ‘goose-necked’ are badly bruised.  Just a normal spring! It can only get better.
Brian

 

8 responses to “Refrigeration”

  1. Clay Higgins says:

    Brian,
    Refrigeration of daffodils is tricky at best.  I cut the stems and give fresh water about every 3 days and it seems to work. I’ve kept them for two weeks, however, the cups on the reds seem to go.
    Miniatures are a different matter.  They don’t do well in refrigeration because even the best refrigerators that are “not frost free” will have some type air circulation. Frost free regrigerators will dry out food that is not covered and will do the same to your daffodils. So use the refrigerators that do not have a frost free feature (Old fashioned refrigerators or new commercial ones.) I have a commercial floral refrigerator with natural humidity that is guaranteed not to dry up the blooms, however, it does on miniatures.  I find that I put them in a cardboard box within the refrigerator, they get the cold but don’t get the circulation and have been able to keep them for a week to 10 days.
    Another issue with refrigeration of miniatures, they often will develop a “white” mold growth that destroys the miniature.  I find that the refrigerator has to be sterile and you have to mist the miniatures with sterile water.  How do I get the refrigerator sterile one might ask!!!  I start each season with a thorough cleaning of my refrigerator with a solutin of bleach.  Bleach works wonders.
    Clay

    Clay Higgins
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  2. Niels Benatar says:

    Dear All,

    I am surprised by the discussion about how best to “keep” daffodils for show purposes.  Even though I am new to daffnet and a total novice (not yet interested in showing anything), I would have thought that the question of how to “prepare” flowers for show would be standardized in order to avoid the impression of tampering with nature.  If it’s not standardized yet, it ought to be, so as to avoid ever claiming that someone’s flowers had an unfair advantage and so on.

    Niels

  3. Melissa Reading says:


    Niels:

    From my observations over the past few years, a daffodil show is about how to most artfully present one’s blooms. It is certainly about much more than how they looked in the garden. So it is probably best to just accept this as the way the game is played, and learn to play it. Indeed, as with all great art, some of the techniques are known only to a few, and their results show it.

    Form and Condition are both influenced substantially by grooming: coronas are made more round, petals are made more co-planar, dirt and stains are removed. Pose is one of the characters most frequently corrected, and even Stem points can be improved by gentle untwisting. Texture is smoothed with a gentle brushing after a warm water bath, or by other means.

    It has been a slow process for me to learn these techniques, and one I’ve really only begun. The exhibits by the growers of many years experience do show the value of great grooming, and as you may have seen on Daffnet, the value of having an experienced person’s help can bring an otherwise ordinary bloom to Best in Show status.

    In addition, the way that multiple-bloom collections are arranged and displayed plays a significant role in their beauty and thus their favorable impression on the judges.

    This shows that despite discussions of DNA or other scientific esoterica, the world of the daffodil fanatic is still one of Art at least as much as Science, and thus standardization is not a goal that will be productively pursued, nor "nature" be exactly what is presented.

    Melissa

    Melissa Reading, Livermore, CA

  4. Clay Higgins says:

    Niels,
    LOL.  Nature and refrigerators go together.  Go to your local florist and they have their flowers in a refrigerator, as well as the local super market.
    We have to raise them naturally in the garden, but anyone can buy a refrigerator if they want one so the competition is still even.  Actually, everyone has a refrigerator.  LOL
    Refrigerators surely do not make the Daffodil better.
    Clay

    Clay Higgins
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  5. Kathleen Simpson says:

    The little shelfs on the door are still available for edibles – and really, who needs food during daff season?
     
    Kathleen



  6. Donna Dietsch says:
    Niels,
    It is not unfair to show your flower to its’ best advantage.  There can be no standard method of grooming (which is what this is called), because each flower will have different things about it that could be changed.  Do you think that in a beauty contest, the young ladies should never wear makeup?  How about exercising to attain a better figure?  How about curling their hair?  Would those things be tampering with nature?  When a cow is shown at the fair, the exhibitor will brush its’ hair down, polish their horns and give them a good bath.  Would that be tampering, too?  How about if a horse is shown with its’ mane braided?  Have you ever been to a rose show?  You should see what they do before putting that rose on the show bench.  Daffodil exhibitors are amateurs compared to them. 
    My parents taught my sister and I how to play euchre and canasta.  They never went easy on us.  We had to learn how to play the game so that we could beat them.  And they knew how to play.  Never play euchre with me.
    The real measure of whether some grooming is good or bad, is that you may remove something that interferes with the beauty of the specimen, but you may not add something that does not exist on a daffodil in nature.  However, as a long time judge and judging instructor, I will say that if you can do things to your flower that could be considered to be not quite right and you do it so well that I can’ t spot it, well, then you did nothing.  If you don’t know how to do it well, and I see it, you will not have your specimen judged.  No ribbon for you.
    A flower does not have to be shown with all its’ many flaws.  The purpose of entering it is to show it off to its’ best advantage.  Yes you take advantage of newer exhibitors.  I say learn how to do it.  Don’t ever complain that they knew more than you did.  Do what they do and do it better so that you will now be the winner.
    How to groom a flower for show should not and will not ever be standardized.  If you decide to compete sometime, be assured that there will be someone who is better at showing than you are.  Don’t feel that they are being unfair.  Learn how to do it instead.  Then get in there and beat them.
    Not trying to be hard on you Niels, but you need to know that no one is taking advantage of anyone else.  We compete hard, but afterward we congratulate the winner and promise to destroy them next time.  All in good fun.
    Donna Dietsch
    Columbus Ohio
    …who ought to be in bed now so that she can get up and go to the convention.
    See you all there!!
  7. John Beck says:

    My own one pennies worth-
    I have had to get down and look at
    the writing on the stem once or twice
    to believe that a flower was mine after a friend
    placed it in the show and she smoothed the petals
    or rounded the cup before the next chore-
    when I groom a flower myself it never looks
    so different as when it happens magically-
    I could say that I am not that good at it
    which is true
    but more accurately, I am still learning,
    and it helps to buy good bulbs!
    John Beck


  8. Clay Higgins says:

    John,
    I have an ex-wife that was the best Italian cook I’ve ever seen.  When she had to use the store bought sauses, she would build from there, saying the store bought sauces was a good place to start to make good sauce. Everyone just “LOVED” her Italian dishes. Unfortunately, her talents stopped at cooking. Oh! by the way, she was Irish!!! LOL.
    I learned from her.  You buy your good bulbs and I will buy the same, but because I am “good” at grooming, by daffodils will beat yours on the show bench.  LOL.
    Clay

    Clay Higgins
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