Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland heatwave: Flower producer reveals fears for this year's harvest

By Donna Deeney

One of Northern Ireland's leading commercial flower producers fears he could lose this year's harvest if the soaring temperatures continue.

Shane Donnelly from Donnelly Horticulture said high temperatures are taking a toll on the 1.8m scented stocks and five acres of lilies due to be harvested soon.

"This weather has been a nightmare," he said. "We have scented stock over roughly six acres and we do lilies beside that over another five or so acres.

"The flowers are grown inside houses and it's the high temperatures that are the problem because if it is too hot the plants will just abort the flowers, so they are useless.

"There isn't much we can do except keep the houses as cool as possible. We whitewash the houses and put parasols up, but if the outside temperature is 26, 27 or even 30 degrees it is going to be the same inside, if not even higher.

"Spraying the air with a mist doesn't help, because then the flowers would be just too wet and that's making even more trouble."

Despite the problems, Mr Donnelly said there would not be any shortage of orange lilies for the Twelfth "so there is no need for anyone that's looking for them to panic".

Belfast Telegraph

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