March 23rd. & 24th.
Lashing down with rain both days, and I am now having to do the potting
up on my outside potting bench normally only used on warm summer days
but as the greenhouse has now reached bursting point I have no option.
The potting bench has a corrugated plastic roof but is open on two sides
and the wind whistles in, it helps to keep me moving fast just to keep
warm. With luck only a couple more days left of potting on the small
plugs then I start re-potting the larger plugs and last years cuttings
into larger pots. Ho well it will then be time to start potting up the
show tubers. I LOVE IT.
Clocks went forward one hour last night, but I was still up at the crack
of dawn to try and keep up the momentum of potting on the 5500 begonia
semps plugs. The biggest problem is space and I am having to make a lot
of temporary cover to keep the heavy rain of them, I have never had so
many plugs before but decided that to make money to cover the cost of
the displays and to buy a new lawn mower at the hospice I would have to
sell a lot more plants. And also the Area group will have to find and
lot of money in the coming season to fund our second show and so we will
need a large plant stall at our spring meeting.
March 29th. The cuttings taken last year are
looking good and I should have a good selection for the new members to
choose what variety they would like as their free tuber for joining the
Slide A 2009 cuttings tubers for new
March 30th. & 31st.
Wet, cold, and thoroughly miserable is the only way to describe the
last couple of days. As most of the plants are in a polythene greenhouse
the temperatures have not been very high (approx 8-10įc) over the last
few days, it has been a struggle to keep the begonia plugs from damping
off, watering has bee kept to the minimum and as much ventilation as
possible (windows and doors open in the daylight hours and the fleece on
at night as kept the damping of under control. still a few plants have
suffered where the rain has managed to penetrate between the sheeting
due to the very high winds. I tend to re-pot these plants in fresh drier
compost before the damping off can take control.
April 1st. The weather is making a fool out of
me. We have had rain, snow thunder and lightning and that was from dawn
to lunch time the weather improved in the afternoon and I managed to pot
on another 400 plugs before my fingers felt as if they would fall off
with the cold, the sun might have been out but the wind chill coming
across the garden into my potting area was deceivingly cold. Never mind
thereís always tomorrow Good Friday to try and catch up.
April 2nd. to 6th. Well the
Easter has come and gone, the weather was quite disappointing but I did
manage to get a lot of potting on done and with a bit of luck all my
bedding plant plugs will be potted up by mid week. as I am not a retail
nursery, I only grow enough plants for my garden and the Hospice, and
this year some to sell at
The South Wales Area
Spring Meeting to try to raise funds for our 2010 show and
enough to sell to cover the cost of these give always. I feel I
went over the top with the amounts ordered when I placed my order and
when over 10,000 plugs arrived over a ten day period I then knew I had
gone over the top, but they are all potted up now and all I have to do
is to water and feed them for the next month.
April 7th. to 9th. Every thing is now
calm, I canít find much to write about as I wait for the Spring
temperature to rise it seems all I am doing is covering the plants at
night and closing the greenhouse windows and in the morning removing the
fleece and opening the windows, the temperature is still to cold for
much watering I have learnt by very expensive experiences that begonia
plugs cold temperatures and water do not go well together
April 10th. Glad to see in my propagator the
first signs of my over wintered show tubers coming through the peat
cover. Before last season 2009 I had never grown an exhibition Begonia I
had only grown Large Double tubers for my garden displays. And the way I
started them off each year was in my 6ft x4ft sand based hot box, the
box is about 10inches high and has a bottom layer of soft sand, The
heating cable is placed in this layer, On top I have about 4inches of
Irish Moss Peat, I then water this peat thoroughly and when drain place
my tubers on top of the peat with the labels attached with a rubber
band, I then cover them with another layer of damp peat. I then only
spray the top peat layer when I see it drying out. I do not see the
tubers again until the majority of them have sent up a good crop of
shoots, This might not be the way of most growers but as I had not
contact with any other Begonia growers I just felt it was the right way
to do things and I have always had a near 100% success rate. I hope it
stays the same with my more expensive tubers
Slide B One of the Exhibition tubers
from my deep propagator, Dug it out to see how things were growing as 2
shoots were showing above the peat.
11th. Checked the greenhouses and watered where
required canít start a lot today, after lunch I will be going to Nailsea
to the South West Spring
Meeting, it is always good to meet up with our friends on the
other side of the Bristol Channel and the meeting always has a good
guest speaker. This year it is Mr Jack Larter and so it should be a very
April 12th. Excellent talk and slide show at
the South West Area meeting yesterday. It was great to meet up with old
friends and meet new ones.
Today I am preparing A talk for my local Horticultural Society on my way
of growing begonias for patio and garden displays and also try and get a
few members to produce a pot plant of a large flowered double begonia
for the flowering plant class at out local show in August. I managed to
obtain 18 large tubers from my local garden centre for £5 as long as
they are mentioned at the talk, I will give these to any member who
would like to try a get a plant suitable for show. They will be started
in 4inch pots and I will demonstrate on how to pot on to larger pots and
with a bit of luck we might get a couple of new members for next year.
April 14th. Morning started of extremely dull
with a stiff North Easterly very cold wind, but by lunch time the sun
had come out and even though the cold wind remained it was quite
pleasant in the greenhouse getting on with the watering.
April is a funny month for trying to write up information for a daily
diary nothing seems to happen much even though I have been working
extremely hard, The Begonia Semp plugs have all been potted up but they
donít seem any bigger now than a month ago but as they are all still
alive (well most of them) something must be going on under the compost.
Slide C even the table used for the
family Christmas lunch has been brought into use to try and make space
for all the Begonia plugs.
The talk at my local gardening club seemed to go well, as this was
the first time I had done a live demonstration. 12 members agreed to
take a potted up tuber home with them and grow it on for our local show
in August. I gave them each a couple of larger size pots so that they
can pot on from 4 to 5Ĺ to 7inch pots as they were taught at the
demonstration ( I did not have a 6inch pot available).
The free tubers for our new members are growing well Slide D, and by the
time this diary is published they would have been distributed to our new
members at our spring meeting being held on the 18th. April in
Britton Ferry, Mr John Chiswell is giving a demonstration on taking
cuttings and propagation followed by a slide show.