The National Begonia Society


2015 Diary

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson's 2015 Diaries
1. Introduction

2. Background     3. January     4. Mid February     5. Late February     6. Mid March     7. Late March
8. Early April     9. Late April     10. Early May     11. Mid May     12. Late May     13. Early June    14. Mid June
15. Mid July     16 Late July     17 Early August     18 Mid August       19 Mid August 2     20 Late August
21 Early September     22 Late September     23 Early October     24 Mid October     25 Early November
26 Mid November               27 Early December     28 Mid December

Episode 1  Introduction

   It was Sunday morning on the 16th. November heading north on the M6 towards Scotland at a fair rate of knots with Vincent Potts & Bob Bryce, when Bob asked me to do this Diary for the National Begonia Society website – I was stuck, with no place to run and with a lot of trepidation I agreed to do it. After speaking with Brain Simmons I felt a little more at ease. So here we are.

In my next instalment I will go more into depth about myself and set up.

November / December
This is where I am at present.
   All my main tubers have had their final brush off and have been de-scabbed. When I de-scab a tuber I dry the wound off with a bit of kitchen roll then lightly dust with Sublimed Sulphur. I found that when I dusted the wound with normal sulphur it formed a hard scab over the wound resulting in losses from rot. I found that if you looked closely you could see little white fungal hairs growing out of the re-scabbed wound. If you were lucky enough and caught it early enough you could re-scab a tuber and it would come away just like the original scab did and you could save your tuber. However if you miss it and find a mass of growth of white fungal hairs on a pre-scabbed wound you will be lucky to save it as the brown rot has already started to go back in to the tuber from the scab.
This is why checking your tubers whilst in storage on a regular basis will save you from tuber loses if acted on quickly otherwise when you begin starting your tubers up you find good looking tubers just full of brown rot. Since I have been using sublime of sulphur I have never suffered from rot from where the scab has come from. The stems on my cuttings are all falling off by themselves now, leaving a lot of distorted 4 inch pots. That is a very heart-warming sight for this time of year.

   Disaster of the year and a lesson to all – I sprayed my plants with Pravado Ultimate Bug Killer and left them, thinking nothing of it. How wrong I was. Within a week most of the leaves on my plants looked scorched. After a lot of panicking and praying they carried on growing and I still managed to get some decent plants and flowers later on in the year.

  Sunday 16 November Bob B, Vincent P & I set off for our usual trip to the Scottish Begonia Society Meeting via Bert Nelson's home at Carluke where we are always made welcome by Bert and his good wife Margaret, and let me not forget well fed as well.Whilst at Bert’s he kindly gave me a cutting of a begonia that I have been after for years.
   At the meeting we were made very welcome as per usual by all the Scottish members there. When I got home I put the cutting from Bert’s on the kitchen window sill to try and take it through winter. Let me tell you conflicts between countries have started for less when my partner Joanne saw it. After some delicate negotiations it is still there in the corner, out of the way still growing.

  Late November I took some very late cuttings from a couple of very special plants given to me by Alan Bryce just before he went to Spain. With the issues of the Kitchen Window sill, I tried to bribe my daughter to let me rent her window sill. Luckily she said I could for free – so now x4 cuttings are living there for now, and looking well.

Well that’s me for 2014. See you all in 2015   

Cuttings on kitchen window sill.

Cuttings on daughter's window sill.