Well Peter Sourbutts
certainly did me proud and sent as promised some fantastic tubers, hope I
can produces some blooms to compete later in the year at Shrewsbury.
All the tubers from Peter had pipped so I was able to put them
straight into the propagator in suitable sized pots as I feel when
potting on there is little root disturbance compared to starting off
grouped in trays. I did speak to Peter and he told me he had kept these
tubers in a warm room to get them moving unlike mine which had been in
the cold garage.
I have spoken to several people about what I grow and they cannot
believe the size achieved by the plants in my greenhouse and on display
at the shows. Many purchase their tubers at garden centres and of course
these are very good stock and produce good flowers but are not the named
varieties grown by myself and many in the National Begonia Society. The
garden centre tubers will not give the large flower results required for
showing or large plants for your own greenhouse display .Whereas the
named varieties when in full flower would stun your visiting friends and
neighbours. Begonias certainly brighten up the greenhouse and make a
change from growing tomatoes although I do grow a couple of tomato
plants in my small greenhouse along with some chilli plants.
I have turned the greenhouse thermostat up to 10deg and the
propagator to 20 deg to get the tubers started. To date I have seen a
couple of small shoots just showing out of the compost.
Fig 1 shows my maple trees in their
wooden trays prior to being re-potted using ericaceous compost and
course grit. Maple trees like to have a shallow root run which these
trays give them and the time to re-pot them is just as their buds start
to swell. They will be in these trays for another couple of years after
which time their trunks will have thickened and then I should be able
put them into their final bonsai display pots.
Jane and I have had this week off and spent most of the week
treating the fence and sheds, itís been several years since was last
done and did look a bit neglected. The weather was warm and dry that
week so we were able to complete the task using about 11 gallon of
treatment. Last autumn I constructed a couple of stands for my Bonsai
and gave these a coat and I think itís improved their appearance.
Fig 4 shows about twenty pots with
shoots just starting to come through the compost and I have taken these
plants out of the propagator as room is a bit tight in there as you can
see by Fig 5. The majority of my
other potted tubers are still in the propagator and they seem to be
taking a long time to come through with half a dozen other pots on the
bench sitting on a small propagator with the cover removed. Some pots in
the propagator I have been tempted to turn a couple out to see whatís
going on and they have made some root so I will need to be patient. So
far getting my tubers into their first pots I have used two 75 Litre
bags of multipurpose compost and when I transfer them into bigger pots I
will add JI number 2 and grit. The mixing ratio same as last year of 4
parts Multipurpose 2 part J and 1 part grit. I have found grit gives
the pots a bit of weight making them stable as I think they may become
top heavy if I used perlite or vermiculite plus grits cheaper.
This weekend whilst the large greenhouse is empty I will fit the fleece
over the roof and side vents.