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The editor's Diary   2006
Brian Simmons

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December 20th. The last procedures of the season are now being carried out and my tubers are almost ready to be stored for a few weeks.  Our Area Show will be two weeks earlier next season so I will probably be starting them off a bit earlier (depending on the weather ). 

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1. Nearly all the compost has been eased away from the dormant tubers taking care not to tear the skin as roots will not form next year on the damaged area.

2. It is important to remove the scab at the base of where the stem formed. If left unattended rot can develop underneath and eat down into the tuber.  I have never found it necessary to treat the wound in any way, after a few days it will heal naturally.
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Tubers are washed and given a light scrub.  The area where the scab was removed can clearly be seen, as can the scars where basal cuttings were taken early in the season.  After drying out and inspected for any rot the tubers will be stored in dry moss peat, but not before they have received the hot water treatment.  

4. My cutting tubers in larger pots (5" 13cm) are now being harvested.  Shown here they are straight out of their pots and not yet cleaned.  Some have the stub of the stem remaining, this will separate in due course.  They are mostly of a disappointing size this year.  The ones in smaller pots (3" 9cm) will be left until mid-January and then restarted within a couple of weeks. And so another season will begin.

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December 5th. Winter is here and another season is over.  Certainly not one of my best but then it has been a difficult one for many growers. All that remains now is to harvest, clean and store the tubers.

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1. The stems have fallen and the harvesting procedure can begin. 

2. The compost I have used again this year has been Scotts Levington Professional No.3. nothing added. The compost's formula does seem to have changed over the last couple of years but still produces a good root action. 
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Most of the compost has been removed from around the tubers which are placed back in their pots together with the label.  They will remain there for another couple of weeks to allow the remaining compost to dry out, this should avoid tearing the tubers' skin when the last compost is eased away.

4. The cutting tubers have also died back, they will remain in their pots for a few more weeks.

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