The National Begonia Society
HOME PAGE    SOCIETY    SHOWS    MEMBERS GALLERY    MEMBERS GREENHOUSES    DIARIES    MAP  
 CULTURAL     REGISTER OF VARIETIES     POTS & BLOOMS     UPDATES     LINKS 

.

Countdown   2012
to the
South Coast Area Show   &   National Show

Phil Champion

 24th. June
  
5 weeks to go, on this first picture (A) it shows the reflective film on the back wall, this is to try and give the plants more light. This is the material that they use in hydroponics for grow tents. So now it's time to pick a bud (B) looking for buds around the size of a fifty pence piece, (C) a few varieties would need a bigger bud to chose from Tom Brownlee, Anniversary, Sweet Dreams & Tequila Sunrise to name a few.
    With the bud now selected, it's now time to stop the plant as well. Some growers leave the following leaf to develop to allow the sap to be drawn up from the plant. For me everything above the bud is removed all or nothing (D), my flowers used to travel in bloom tubes but now most of the stems will end up too big for the tubes (E). At this point I also top dress the pots, you can see from this next picture how the tuber has been pushed up the compost and part of the tuber is above the compost. (F). Now with the stopping of the plant most of these new growths will start to grow, you can also see roots starting to appear. By top dressing more roots should appear. This also helps the new basal growth produce roots for some late cuttings, but at this point I remove everything. One or two varieties suffer from stem rot, like Mrs Dan Ramage for instance. This plant of Mrs Dan Ramage has split at the back level with the compost, (G) I tend not to top dress because I feel its a weak point that would suffer being constantly damp, and can be a cause of stem rot.
   A few plants are starting to throw new side shoots (H) these are rubbed out and not allowed to develop (I). Some plants are also throwing basal shoots already, these can be removed for cuttings (J). I only keep the varieties I still require stock of but everything has to go (K).
   This is the root system on my plants (L) nice & full. My top dressing is Levington M3 this I tend to water in a bucket, mix it up to get air back in then place in the pot and water it again into the pot, now it's a little more difficult to see when the plant wants watering again so it's more by lifting & feeling the weight.   All that's left now is the feeding program, these are the products I have been using this year (M) and will talk in a little more depth next week. All the plants still facing the wall will stay that way till its time for the collars to go on.
 


A


B


C


D


E


F


G


H


I


J


K


L


M

Week 1    17th.June     Week 3   1st. July     Week 4   10th. July     Week 5   16th. July
          Week 6  23rd. July     Week 7  29th. July     Week 8   8th. August     Week 9  12th. August

TOP OF PAGE

V