rest of the country we have just gone through a nice period of hot
weather which has certainly helped things within the greenhouses. I have
been potting up basket and container plants and they are now in my cold
frame which is full. I am making daily visits to a local supermarket in
order to obtain the last of the bedding plants needed for a display in
my front garden and if lucky that will be achieved within the next week.
The residents of the small village that I stay in have decided to enter
a local small village in bloom competition and as you can imagine money
is tight. In order to help I decided to contact Clydeside Trading
Society, Kirkmuirhill, Lanark, (sponsor the British Begonia 12 Cut Bloom
Championship) on their behalf in an attempt to obtain some sponsorship
and to my delight they have agree to help. I have to say that this did
not surprise me as I have been a customer of theirs for a number of
years and found them to be extremely helpful.
bloom plants are quite short jointed but that is what I would expect at
this time of year. Examination within the pot showed that they were
ready to be moved into their final 5 litre pots ready to be flowered in
approximately 14 weeks. This has been done and I now have only 15
plants per 20 foot row. My pot plants are growing and have settled into
the 7.5 litre pots although some of the cultivars such as Tigger and
possibly Monica Bryce are growing so strongly that it will be difficult,
if not impossible, to manipulate their basal shoots. This does not
really concern me as with these cultivars I have used more than one
plant per pot which certainly makes the process easier. By leaving the
larger leaves on the plants they should soon start to restrict the light
levels in the areas surrounding the side shoots which in turn will
weaken the side shoot growth making the process of manipulation that
much easier (that is the theory anyway).
As I said
in a previous chapter I stopped the front basal stem on some of the pot
plants that had three basal shoots forcing the plant to produce its side
shoots sooner than it would normally have done. This has worked and I am
hoping to possibly obtain side shoots on side shoots with two blooms on
all side shoots, fingers crossed. I may decide that that volume of
flowers will be too great as I would like to achieve large blooms
resembling those of cut blooms on the pot plants (not asking a lot from
the plants). I am of the opinion that the greater the number of
flowers on the plant then the greater the chance is of it producing
smaller and shallower blooms.
plants are now in their final pots I will restrict my diary entries to
one per month as we are now entering a period when we have only
disbudding and removal of side shoots to do. As you will see from the
photographs below I have my canes in place and I also use sections of
cardboard which I place behind the stem in order to ensure that the
plant grows straight and not bend backwards. As I said at the beginning
of this diary if you have any questions then these can be addressed via
the NBS Facebook page.
within a 3 litre pot. Should have been potted up about 10 days before
this photograph was taken.
3 and 4. General views of left hand side of
greenhouse showing single stem plants.
6, 7 and 8. Closeup views of those plants.
10 and 11. Views of right hand side of greenhouse showing
single stem and pot plants.
Powder Puff stopped within a pot plant.
Same age of plant not stopped.
Closeup of Roy Hartley (a new cultivar for me).