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CULTURAL DIARY   2018
John Hamilton
National Begonia Society Cut Bloom Champion  2008   2002
British Begonia Champion  2012  2009  2008  2004
SBS Pot Plant Champion 2012

July part 2

July 19th was the stopping date for this years show, this consisted of removing any buds larger than an old 10p piece and removing the growing point of each shoot leaving two blooms to develop.  Pot plant blooms develop slightly quicker than cut blooms and are much easier to transport if they are still fresh.

The high nitrogen feed given at the beginning of the month has softened plant growth and this allows for further shaping of the plant.  I use green canes for positioning side shoots as these are unobtrusive.  If the plant is grown correctly all will be hidden from view.

Plants are top dressed as they have been in these pots for a while and are now full of root and benefit from the extra compost, this has the added benefit of reducing watering slightly as during hot weather a gallon can does three plants, so this means 15 trips back a forward to the water barrel. A full strength balanced feed is added to the water in the barrel and the plants will be fed this at every watering until about three weeks before the show. At that point it will be changed to a high potash feed as blooms can be hardened up once they have been positioned.

The next task is to remove the side buds, I do this as quickly as possible.  The reason for this being that the stocks left behind are very small and do not rot in the bud at a later date.  It is not practical to go around checking them as when the plants are in flower there will be over 700 blooms to check.
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Lancelot before stopping           Lancelot stopped and dressed

              
Charlotte before stopping       Charlotte stopped and dressed


pot plants


single stem pot plants


cut blooms and pendula plants


pot top dressed

              
seedlings and spare stock plants

              
bud ready to remove side buds                size of side buds          


final result ready to flower
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My wife has been growing the multifloras this year and her greenhouse is now full of colour as are her baskets, these smaller flowered varieties certainly add a splash of colour all over the garden.


Mairi's greenhouse


pergola


helper


La Madelone


Northern Lights pink


Flamboyant


Glowing Embers


Pear drop


Yellow hammer

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British Begonia Champion  12 Cut Blooms   2012

      
Scottish Championship 9 Pots    2012

John's Open Days
2016          2014          2013

   

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