As we move through to mid June I would normally now
be looking carefully at my plants in preparation for them to be stopped
towards the end of the month. I will be still looking to do this to the
majority of my plants, other than a few I have already stopped.
I have allowed a few plants (pic 1) to have 2 side
shoots & allow 2 blooms on each, this should give 6 much larger flowers
to the plants. All plants were given a feed of calcium nitrate at the
beginning of the month & are now being fed a balanced feed at quarter
strength. Many growers think there is a magic ingredient, pixie dust
Fairy dust to name a few but there is one & that only one magic
ingredient is YOU the grower. The grower has to understand everything
about his plants his greenhouse & be there to act to the plantís needs.
Iíve been lucky enough to have mixed in circles of some many top growers
for many years. Iíve never been afraid to ask questions & trust me when
I say I have been put on the spot to make my brain work many times. even
today I still ask because I know there is still more to learn, but these
days itís more of a discussion. Letís talk a little on propagation &
cuttings, i grow my cuttings in a 1 litre square pot come the end of the
year the majority of the tubers have filled the pot. The resulting
tubers can be 7.5cm to 10cm (3 to 4 inch) looking at what many class as
a 2 year old tuber ( pic 2) What I will say is to achieve this you need
to be spending more time with the cuttings than your plants. Many
growers put their cutting in a 3-inch round pot & come the end of the
year if they have a tuber the size of your thumb nail, they are happy.
What I have found is the size of my cuttings dictates the size of pots I
use, I start them off in the 1 litre square pot they were grown in, itís
then onto a 2 litre finally 4 litres. If you try & fit a 2 litre into a
3 litre there is no room thus the 4 litre. This year I have attempted to
grow 75 plants in 3 litre pots & have to admit it has been a little
struggle. I have found that the 3 litre pot plants have required more
water nearly every day, the fertiliser in the pot only lasted 3 weeks
before the plant was running out of steam. Whereas my normal 4 litre
pots 3/4 days before requiring watering & fertiliser lasting 4/5 weeks.
Having compared plants of the same varieties in each of the pots ( pic
3/4 ) I have come to a conclusion that the plants in the 3 litre pots
although nothing wrong growing wise they have been restricted in their
growth & have found that the plants have grown to suit the pot as one
grower always say food for thought.
Due to me not taking many cuttings this year, Iíve
spent a little more time on some of the other types of Begonias that I
have. They are normally shoved in the corner & a bit of water thrown at
them when they collapse. This year they have had a whole 20-foot bench,
well nearly, so with a little more TLC if I say so myself, they donít
look to bad.
Till next time keep safe.