A start was made with the smaller multiflora
begonia tubers a couple of weeks ago; (late February) these have been
planted in trays and placed in a heated propagator, now there are signs
of growth as the warmth stimulates them to wake up.
The larger tubers like image 01have only just been placed into
larger trays and covered with compost these measure 40cm X 60cm; I find
it is easier to grow them this way until they are ready to be planted in
the garden towards the end of May / early June. Watering is easier than
having to water numerous pots, and by giving them some feed in about 6
weeks time they develop into good plants.
Shoots are developing on some of the
larger tubers even before they have been planted, as you can see on
The 60cm X 40cm trays hold 15 / 16 tubers
image 03, although some of the
tubers are now getting too large and in some cases the trays will only
accommodate 12 tubers.
Other trays that are useful are the blue mushroom trays you
can usually get from the greengrocers or supermarkets, by lining these
with newspaper it helps to keep the compost in the trays.
Image 04 and 5, these only hold 6 or
7 tubers, but will suffice and the paper will last until the plants are
ready for planting out.
The trays used image 6 and 7,
as you can see at this stage they are stacked on the bench in my main
greenhouse, they will be moved in another few weeks into my other
greenhouse when I have lit and set up the gas heater there. My main
greenhouse is heated to a minimum of just under 10c; this seems to be
high enough to stimulate the multifloras into growth.
Image 8 this is a tuber
of Begonia; gracilis martiana, the hollyhock begonia, these take a fair
time before they show any activity. It can take a couple of months
before there are any signs of growth with the initial growth usually
being a couple of leaves. They then appear to rest before the shoots
start to elongate to produce their flowering stems. This species seems
to like being planted in an open sunny position, no doubt due to its
country of origin, Mexico. You can see how it performs as a garden plant
in other pictures on the web site.