Early in the month I
removed the last of the autumn cuttings from the propagator and these
tubers were mainly thumb nail size Fig1.
These small tubers after harvesting I kept in pots of the cutting
compost from which I had just removed them from, this to stop them
drying out too much in storage. I did not add any more water as the
compost was damp enough.
I’ve made a start and treated all tubers with a warm water solution
with not more than 10% bleach added Fig 2.
I did use rubber gloves while carrying out this job.
Plenty of cutting tubers Fig 3
shown in propagator which is set at 20°c good job as the brown rot for
some reason has taken more of my mature tubers.
I used Sinclair’s compost to start my cutting tubers
My mature tubers which I have left are placed face down on the
heated bench Fig 5 when these pip I
will first pot them up into pots just bigger than the tubers themselves
using Sinclair’s until roots fill the pots and then pot on again when
required this time using Sinclair’s, John Innes no 2 and grit.
I cleaned all my pots with the armillatox and left them to dry
I needed to remove the fleece from the roof vents as it has broken
down with the sun light and would not be effective for another year. It
was effective stopping flying insects gaining entry if I had fitted it
over the side louver vent it would have worked even better. I will cover
all possible insect entry points this year when I reattach new fleece
later this month.
Before the end of this month I will give the large greenhouse a
clean out Fig 10 and let the sulphur
candle off hopefully to remove any lurking bugs
Fig 7. As I mentioned
previously I had some caterpillar damage so some of these may still be
around and need removal.
My wife and I attended the National Begonia Society AGM on Saturday
22nd Feb at Manning Hall Druids Heath on the outskirts of
Birmingham. Everything ran smoothly with the election of officers and
the raffle was held but my number was not draw out of the hat with
approx 34 prizes of Begonia tubers to be won. I must say they did look
good tubers which members had donated as prizes.
Whilst meeting up with other members I did purchase four new tubers
from Terry Carr who does grow some really good plants and also swapped
one of my tubers with one from John Winfield.
On arrival home I promptly put all five new acquisitions in the
propagator the small tubers planted in pots and the larger faced down on
the heated bench.
A picture taken earlier this year is my spring taken cutting
tubers, Fig 8, which shows how they
vary in shape and size.
Fig 9 shows propagator
with thermostat turned up and covered with tubers inside hopefully going
to start into growth.
I had a phone call on the Sunday after the AGM where I had spoken
to Peter Sourbutts the current Southport 20 pot Champion and Vice
Chairman of the NBS regarding my mature Tuber losses. He very kindly
said he would be able to replace a good number of my lost tubers, this I
thought was a very kind and thoughtful gesture and very much
appreciated. As Peter said that is part of being a member of the Society
where help and advice is always at hand.