The National Begonia Society


2014 Diary

Stephen Jones



   9th June The plants are all growing well as can be seen from Fig 1.
The beans and peas picked & removed from my 10 x 8 greenhouse the shelving installed to stand my restricted plants. In their 7Ē pots they seem to be spaced ok and should not be too close together I will have to see as I have not grown this many restricted plants itís also the first year Iíve had this greenhouse. For the shelving I sourced some crates from the local farm shop and eight pieces of 10ft x 4Ē x 2Ē which I treated with some clear wood preservative. I covered the ground with weed suppressing matting and I think it looks quite tidy Fig 2. With this greenhouse not being very tall its idle as this shelving is not too high unlike the large house where the bench is just one height but the roof is 12Ē higher. I did get another magnetic screen for the door and covered the roof vent with fleece. I tied the plants that were tall enough to the cane in their pot today. Made a platform out of two buckets and sat on a little stool which enabled me to work from to save bending over too far Fig 3. When doing this I removed any shoots that had appeared extra to the main shoot a couple of these had some roots which I was able to pot up for extra plants. With the multi stemmed plants Iíve been round and started tying each stem and fitting a cross cane to support the centre stem Fig 4. while removing all the flower buds taking care not to remove the growing tip which can easily be done by mistake.. Fed all plants with miracle grow also treated all plants with provado vine weevil killer. Iíve been looking for damage to leaves but so far have seen none although have seen a couple of moths which I disturbed when moving the plants. There have been mild nights so doors left open getting some air in but when very wet and cold have kept the doors closed. You can see this yearís cuttings in Fig 5. along with some of last yearís very slow cutting tubers just starting in the back ground.
   Earlier in the year I commented on painting the outside of the greenhouses with white paint .Well this was a disaster with all the heavy rain it was washed off leaving the glass nice and clear to let the sunshine through. Luckily I had some fleece which I was able to put temporarily inside the house to protect the plants until I was able to get some shading paint. This time I bought some shading paint over the internet which goes clear when it gets wet using half of a one litre tin to cover my 20ft & 10 ft. Greenhouses. Most of the white paint had stopped on the side glass which hadnít had the rains full force so didnít need to apply to those areas again.
   15th June Iíve been round all the plants and removed all the buds and fed all with phostrogen also gave them several feeds over the leaves. Continued tying the main stems to the canes inserted when I potted them on into final pots, adjusting if becoming too tight with the ever increasing size of the stems. I donít like the idea of pushing canes into the pots and damaging the roots which have done their best to grow and fill the pot.
   21st June Gave all the plants a feed with phosphorous as read in one our bulletins it gives the plants a boost. Needed to  put a couple of plants in the beds outside and made a temp. bench to stand several which gives the benches in the large greenhouse over to the multi stemmed plants. The Nixol transparent shading paint seems to be doing a good job and has stopped on also does go clear when raining as it says on the tin. Removed several panes of glass in both greenhouses Fig 6 & 7 as can be seen covered the openings with netting to keep the bugs away. One final picture of the first tomatoes ready for picking Fig 8 taken on 23rd June.
   28th June
This week I will pick half of the buds and next week the 3rd July the other half to give a bit of difference in the timing. Made myself a size gauge Fig 9 to hold up against the buds makes the job a bit easier. Last year several of my plants were past their best so Iím going to shorten the time on half the plants between picking buds and show date. Not actually sure what the weather will do as usual only time will tell.