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CULTURAL DIARY   2018
John Hamilton
National Begonia Society Cut Bloom Champion  2008   2002
British Begonia Champion  2012  2009  2008  2004
SBS Pot Plant Champion 2012

 

February

This month has seen a gradual if not spectacular start to 2018 but tubers are now showing signs of growth.  The lighter nights and heat below the glass from the sun will hopefully speed things up.  It is now that I start to plan my year and decide on any changes to my growing methods.  I am very fortunate to live near the base of the Clydeside Trading Society, it is a Commercial Horticultural supplier and the people who work there are a font of useful knowledge.  I tinker rather than change my methods always looking to improve, and although no two years are the same with regards to growing conditions, comparisons can be made.

 

This year I am going to use a new foliar feed Maxicrop Extra-f.  After being relegated to 2nd place in the growing order, of the Hamilton household last year.  The phrase “I must do better” comes to mind.  Not every change improves results, but it does extend your knowledge and over time does help to improve the standard to which plants can be grown.  Begonias react well to being foliar fed and the Maxicrop seaweed feeds help to maintain healthy foliage which in turn helps build a natural resistance to pests and diseases.  Will it work, only time will tell, and as far as feeding plants goes a lot is down to the weather and the plants themselves. Despite having a hut that resembles a chemist’s shop, I do not use a lot of liquid feed as too much salt in the pots is detrimental to the root system which sustains growth.

 

The cutting tubers which were planted earlier are now in need of potting and I have decided to use the Clover potting compost the larger tubers are being started in.  Hopefully this will produce the root system required to get them growing.  A tip I got many years ago was that a plant requires as much below the ground as it has above.

The first pest of the year has been discovered and dispatched, mice are not a begonia growers friend, it always amazes me how they seem to know just which tubers you are short of and steal them accordingly.  With a bit of luck peanut butter will seem more appealing than my tubers of Anniversary.

                                                                                                                           John Hamilton


Foliar feed


Adult tubers starting


Closer view of adult tubers


Cutting tubers


Cutting tubers


Mouse trap set

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British Begonia Champion  12 Cut Blooms   2012

      
Scottish Championship 9 Pots    2012

John's Open Days
2016          2014          2013

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