The National Begonia Society




Hi all, this year seems to have got off to a flyer with the warm weather the country has been enjoying so far. Although many areas have been struck with some frosts, here near Dumfries we only had 3 light frosts since end of January. My plants are looking pretty good, been very happy with the root development this year. Tinkering with the compost for the 2nd pot have proved to been successful with good root showing.

As many of you may know I had problems with my loam this year so restricted the number of plants to finish in a 4-litre pot. This left many plants in the second pot of only 2 litres, which seemed a shame. Halfway through the month of May I kept looking at the plants in the 2 litre pots & thought I would make up some compost using old spent compost from previous couple of years. This old compost was piled up at the end of the garden. So with 15 litres of old spent compost I added 12 litres new peat & 3 litres Kettering loam with all the normal fertiliser, another 150 litres made up. Will be interesting on how this performs through the year. As we enter the end of May it was time also to clear out many surplus plants to the garden. The back of our house only gets an hourís sun in the morning & a couple of hours in the evenings. Went a little overboard & built a display area to house the surplus plants. The plants in the glasshouse now have a little more room to spread their leaves. Hanging baskets are now starting to put on lots of growth & are now showing the side shoots need stopping. Iíve also started feeding with a high nitrogen feed this helps soften the growth to allow movement in the stems. With this soft growth when time comes, I can withhold water & let the plant collapse. Making the plant collapse helps stop the stem breaking under the weight of blooms later on. When letting the plants collapse once water is given, the plants canít pull the stem back up fully. The basket may look a little flat on top but it will soon fill up when the side shoots develop. Iíve just checked on a 4-litre pot to see how the root system was going, I have a smile on my face Iím happy.

    Till next time keep safe.

Phil Champion


Roots in 2nd pot 2 litre

Many plants In 2 litre pots

Display area back of the house

Surplus plants


Plants now have a bit more room


Hanging baskets

Basket tubs



Hanging pots



4 litre pot of roots


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