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

.

The Editor's Diary    2006
March, April, May

Brian Simmons

.

24th. May  In spite of the recent atrocious weather the plants are continuing to grow, even without any artificial heating.  Potting on and the taking of basal cuttings continues.  Ideally I like to have all my begonias in their final pots eight weeks before our Show at Portchester.  This means that Saturday 8th. June is the deadline, they will then have three weeks before the buds are allowed to develop. Of course this is only a general guideline, the needs of the plants overrule any set schedule.    

1.

2.

3.

4.

1. About two thirds of my plants are now in 7" pots, this is more than I would have liked as most will be potted on again and therefore be excluded from being used as restricted pots. At least half of these are from last year's cuttings.

2. When potting on I like to compress the compost using the old pot as a former. A small amount of compost (Scotts Levington M3) is placed in the bottom of the larger pot then the smaller one positioned on top of it.  Compost is then filled in between the sides of the two pots. I always premix water into the compost before using it.

3. The smaller one is then pushed down, compacting the compost.

4. The annual routine of taking cuttings is continuing. I am still taking basal cuttings.

.

9th. May  Potting on and the taking of cuttings continue. Most of my plants have now been transferred to the larger of my two greenhouses (this one is a lean to converted from a shed at the bottom of the garden). Another year has passed without having to use my excellent Parwin electric greenhouse heater.  Furthermore I have recently been away on holiday and left the greenhouse vents and door partially open. Watering was in the capable hands of Dave Coates.

1.

2.

3.

4.

1. Plants in my main greenhouse have all been potted on once and reduced to one main stem. 

2. Even this early in the season buds are developing, these must be removed.

3. I have now taken four trays of basal cuttings, these early cuttings make the best plants for the following season.

4. The cuttings are placed in heated propagators under the staging. After four weeks they have rooted and are replaced with another batch.

.

16th. April  My main tubers are definitely a little behind schedule (target is our Area Show, 5th. & 6th. August), this is only to be expected with the unfavourable weather over the past few weeks.  However over  three quarters of them are now potted on as are all of the cutting tubers, which were started previous to the main tubers.  I have taken a first tray of new season cuttings.
Pictures of last year's Show

1.

2.

3.

4.

1. Potting on of the main tubers is continuing. A good root system but before coming pot bound is what I aim for. Sometimes I find that roots seem reluctant to develop and repotting in the new compost has the desired effect of stimulation. There is always likely to be the occasional plant that lacks any new season vigour.  The variety shown is Masquerade which I first grew in 1980 and was a banker when I used to grow very large pots.

2. This multi-stemmed plant will be reduced down to one main stem, the strongest growing shoot only being left to develop.

3. Surplus shoots are just eased off, these basal cuttings will be my first cuttings of the new season.

4. Most of the semperflorens are now punneted. just the tiddlers remain, but none will not be wasted.

.

5th. April  At last, something resembling spring, and my begonias are progressing well. During the day the greenhouse vents are open, and whenever possible also the door partly ajar.  I do not want excessively high temperatures that will stimulate forced growth.    

1.

2.

3.

4.

1. Several of the larger cutting tubers are potted on.

2. the top growth is developing in the manner that I like, compact and sturdy, with the bonus of several plants have more than one stem giving the opportunity for early cuttings.

3. The root system is vigorous, encouraged by the half pots standing in a warm moist mixture of sand and peaty compost.  This one is now ready for potting on.

4. The semperflorens are also making good progress, almost ready to be transplanted into punnets. These will be for our own use, friends and for charity.

.

19th. March  The weather continues to be cold with little sunshine to warm the greenhouse. Here on the south coast we have however escaped the worst of the conditions that have been affecting much of the country.   

1.

2.

3.

4.

1. Of the 12 small cutting tubers 9 have started and are growing on well. They are at present seeking refuge in a thermostatically controlled propagator.  The top is replaced at night.

2. Most of the larger cutting tubers are now coming to life. Ones with T labels are pipping. they are covered with fleece at night.

3. All my tubers are now started, potted individually in the larger of my two heated sandbeds. The bed is covered with fleece to retain warmth.

4. The semperflorens are all thinned, a total of 1038 plantlets in 13 trays of 80. This includes about 30 tiddlers, the wife does not waste any.  The compost is Scotts Levington F2S.  Clear plastic tops cover the trays at night.  The greenhouse is unheated.

 AUGUST    JULY   JUNE   JANUARY & FEBRUARY
The Editor                  The Editor's Tutorial

TOP OF PAGE