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The Secretary's Diary   2006
Through the Season with Alan Harris  (NBS Secretary 2002 - 2013)

20th. May
The Gardeners World at the NEC is now just 4 weeks away and this is the state of the plants on 17th May.  I think they may not be at large as last year, but should be a show of colour.  They have been in the shade house for two weeks now to try and "sturdy them up" and slow the flower opening.
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This is the stage the seedlings from my own crosses have reached.  They were slow to start with but are moving ahead nicely now.  They will be planted in the garden in semi shade the first week in June.

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I am also growing a batch of pendula plants from Dennis Need's crossing and this means the shade house and greenhouses are an obstacle course with baskets hanging everywhere.

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Although a lot of the plants are growing away well now, some are still slow and these are still in the starting pots.  I doubt they will be any good this year and will plant them in the garden in June to grow on for next years tubers.

9th. April
The plants from the earliest cutting tubers are now potted on and growing away nicely.  I have had a much higher loss rate amongst tubers this winter, for no reason I can think of.  They over wintered ok and then rotted when I started them up.  This happened with both adult and cutting tubers.

The plants for the NEC on 15th June are just starting to move ahead.  They are no longer under lights which were switched off the day the clocks went on.  They look about the same as the same time last year so fingers crossed.  Some warmer nights would be welcome.
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The adult tubers are starting slower than last year.  These were put in on the 21st March and are only just starting to show through. I am not worried because they always catch up when the warmer weather arrives.

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The over wintered cuttings that are not for the NEC are potted on and kept as near the light as possible to ensure that they don't decide to go dormant.  If they do they are a hell of job to start again so I try to prevent it. The over wintered cuttings are a very good insurance against losing new varieties in the first year, which can easily happen.

5th. March
The over wintered cuttings are now starting to grow and will need potting on in the next week or two.  These were all taken in September and October and grown under the lights for 16 hours a day. Well worth it for special varieties.
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The cutting tubers are now set up to start with bottom heat at 70F and the greenhouse set at a miserly 40F.  They are grown in the segmented trays to prevent any rot spreading should it occur.

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The Society are showing again at the Gardeners World Live show at the NEC in June. These plants are over wintered cuttings being grown on to flower for the stand I hope.They are now in 5" pots and will be moved on to 7" pots at the end of March.

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The adult tubers
are not started for another 2 weeks and have been divided into those that have pips and those without. The ones with pips are under the staging in the cool and the ones without are shown here on the heated cables to get them moving.  I like to have pips on before putting in compost and I find they start quickly and reliability.

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2005
July - December
April, May, June
January, February & March

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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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