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April part 1

The last two weeks of March have been a busy period for me as I have been carrying out the first of my serious “weeding out” processes (about 100 plants have gone). I had timed it to coincide with my second potting and the transition from the small greenhouse into the larger one.  Although it may sound brutal if you do not carry out this process you will inevitability:  

●   grow too many plants for the size of growing area that you have available which in turn will lead to the plants becoming stretched as they struggle to find good light levels.
●   create conditions ideal for both pests and diseases in which to thrive due to restricted ventilation (plants too close to each other preventing good air flow).
●   damage your plants as you continually move them in order to access others.
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turn a hobby which should be enjoyable into an unpleasurable task.

Remember that there are always people that are more than willing to take surplus plants off your hands. Good husbandry can be the difference between success and failure. Always try to make things as simple as possible and be a step ahead with your planning. 
Having mentioned potting I should possibly say that I see nothing wrong when potting up going from one pot size to the next but that is not for me. I am quite happy going up in 2 litre increments or greater (my soil based compost would not allow for anything less). It is now decision time for my pot plants, deciding what exactly I will do, what plants to use and for that matter exactly how I will grow them. I had decided last year to experiment with pot plants and the timing of this diary just happens to coincide with that decision. I am not for one minute suggesting that you should follow my lead, in fact the contrary, as it would be far wiser to just watch from the side lines. It will be interesting to see if it is feasible, worthwhile, or for that matter something that you would want to do. There is more to growing begonias than just for show albeit that the basic principles are the same, however, if not showing  then the individual is not restricted in what they can or cannot do.

I now have twelve “pot plants” all of which are in 7.5 litre pots and are broken down as follows:

5 with two basal stems, two of which are single adult tubers and the remainder being two cutting tubers of the same cultivar per pot.
7 with three basal stems, three of which are single adult tubers, two with three cutting tubers (two cultivars), one pot with a single cutting tuber and lastly one with three cutting tubers of the same cultivar.  That should give me a reasonable coverage.
 I suppose now is the time to stop talking and for me to commit fully to this experiment. Let us be honest, the very worst that could happen is that it is a complete failure. As they say nothing ventured nothing gained and any knowledge gained in my experience is a step forward.

 

Description of Photographs

1. General view of large greenhouse
2. Left hand side showing both adult and cutting tubers to be grown as single stem with one bloom.

3. Right hand side showing both pot plants and single stem.
4. Closeup of pot plant (three cutting tubers) front cutting tuber stopped and side shoots starting to develop.
5. Cutting tuber (March Part 2 photograph No.7 in 1.5 litre pot) now in 7.5 litre pot.
6. General view of pot plants.

 

Something nonstandard that you may find interesting

       7. Stem tuber.
 8. Harvested stem tuber.
 9. Scab removed showing veins/arteries.
10.Same tuber starting up and showing first basal and root.

 


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Cultural Diaries and previous articles 

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