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The Lonely Begonia Grower

Phil Champion's Diary
2011

INTRODUCTION.

 FEBRUARY.
   February is the real start for me even though in January, begonia seed is started (A) along with my basket tubers with a few very small cutting tubers (B). These are started early to make sure that the heated benches are clear for when the cutting tubers go in. Mind you at the end of Jan. I still have some 50 plus cuttings taken from the end of last year still growing, mainly leaf cuttings of varieties that I am short of., This is the best way of making sure you carry through those few varieties that are hard to keep as well. Any plant brought at one of the shows is stripped of everything possible that might root. Last year at the south coast mini show Dave Coates gave me a single stem plant of Joyce Milhulka,  I took in excess of 15 cuttings last count still had 12 cuttings still growing. Don't worry about a flower, safe guard by taking cuttings. Now as you can see in the pictures of my seed it has not been a good germination, out of 5 crosses 3 seemed to have failed 1 cross only a few plants & the other a total of about 100, not many for the front garden this year.
   The start of February is when I harvest my cutting tubers these are then sorted (C), all the small tubers are put straight into the hot bed in trays (D) all I use is plain peat nothing added. Most of these small tubers unless very vigorous will only reach a 5inch pot. The larger cutting tubers are put on the bench 2nd. week of February. Some of the cutting tubers are kept back for a later show. The early seed & cutting tubers are placed under 2 grow lights these extend the daylight by 6 hours, till 22.00 (E). Towards the end of the month the main tubers are removed from their storage of polystyrene boxes (F). Those selected for the early shows are placed on the bench & sprayed daily for a week to assist those that haven't pipped yet. prior to being placed in their trays & put on the hot bed.


A


B


C


D


E


F

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