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The Lonely Begonia Grower

Phil Champion's Diary
2011

INTRODUCTION.

 MAY
  
Did I say it would turn cold at the end of my last piece how wrong was I, it got even hotter here at the end of April and I have this heat to contend with already (A). Things got a little worse for me as the Easter break kicked in, the 11 days of holiday was looking good and not having to think about work was even better. But I ended up staying with N.H.S. CARDIAC CARE UNIT at the Royal Berkshire Hospital suffering a heart attack. The next 6 days was confined to the hospital ward. Pleased to announce that I am well on the road to recovery having successful cardiac cathetersation & percutaneous coronary intervention.
   Right, less of me now and more on the begonias. The day prior to my setback I had received my protection against the dreaded mite Amblyseius Cucumeris, 50 packs at 23. (B). Now 50 packs are more than is recommended for the area I need to cover (C/D) but I would rather be safe than sorry.
   My small amount of seedlings are ready for their first pot 3 inch square (E).  I treat the seedlings the  same as my tubers, the root system just filling the pot (F). The seedling now in its first pot (G). On consultation of John Hamilton's weekly updates his potting on of his plants are earlier than my own, but the master can't be ignored so my plants are now also potted on at this stage (H). This would be when I would be looking to pot on (I).  Now most of my first show plants are reaching their final pot stage (J).
   I
have taken only a few cuttings so far this year (K) but this is how I get them started 24 to a standard seed tray. The lid is placed on with the vents closed for 3 weeks (L) after this period the vents are opened for a further week, then placed anywhere there is space available. During the period of the cuttings being in the prop. I will lift the lid off to check that nothing is going wrong from time to time & if I remember. Most of my cuttings this year are basal cuttings & some already are showing signs of roots starting. (M).
   The shade house is now well & truly starting to look full. (N). My plants for the mini show are on the left hand side of the shade house, those on the right are for the National and all the plants in the greenhouse are also for the National..(O). Had a few problems this year that many of my cutting tubers will not make the grade, this could be due to my compost as you can see over 100 plants will now only be grown for a tuber. (P). All my other plants I am more than happy with, the foliage looks good & healthy. (Q).
  So that is the stage that my plant are at and I am now getting all my plants into their final pots
  


A


B


C


D


E


F


G


H


I


J


K


L


M


N


O


P


Q

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