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The Secretary's Diary   2005
Through the Season with Alan Harris - January, February, March

10th. March.
The main batch of tubers have now been potted up and are on the heated bed. They have been slow to pip this year for some reason I can't work out, some have been set up without pips. This is not something I like to do but needs must. The adult tubers are started in 5" half pots apart from those which are too large and they have to go into trays.

The plants for the NEC from over wintered cuttings are really going away now. They are in 7" pots and it's the first time I've been disbudding in March. I am growing 8 for the show and hopefully you will come along and see how they end up.
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The hanging basket tuber for the NEC is now planted up. Time will tell if it is ready in time. Only 10 weeks to go so I think it will be touch and go. We need some better weather.

13th. February.
This is an illustration of how much larger the over wintered cutting tubers grow than the spring rooted.  The tuber of Emily Rose on the left was taken in September 2003 after the National Show.  It was grown through and went down naturally in Autumn 2004.  The result is an adult size tuber in one go.  Well worth the effort I think.

This years over wintering cuttings are moving ahead really well now and some of the ones at the back will be grown on hopefully for the NEC on June 15th.  The lights are still on from 5am till 9pm whatever the weather and will not be switched off until the end of March.
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The first batch of cutting tubers have been set up.  They are sterilised in a 10% Domestos solution, rinsed and planted in ready moistened compost.  They are covered in fleece at night to keep them snug and this is taken off during the day to prevent rotting in the new shoots as they develop.

7th. January
After drying
the trays are stored under the bench in the cool. They are only stored in a single layer which makes checking for rot etc. easy. This is done every two weeks..
 

The cutting tubers are left in their small pots and not removed until they are started in mid February. They only seem to make a thin scab which does not cause a problem as these can be removed a day or two before starting.
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The over-wintering cuttings are moving ahead nicely and are actually growing with just the fluorescent tubes as light. I have now raised the lights. The Society is exhibiting at the NEC in late June and, all being well, I shall grow some of these on to flower for that show. Watch this space for progress.

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Tubers are dried on a warm bench for a few days after the scabs are removed to allow the wound to dry. The bench is set at 20 degrees.

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OTHER PAGES BY ALAN HARRIS
The Secretary's Diary

Cut-blooms
The Secretary's page on growing for exhibition.

The Secretary's Page

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