With my enforced rest I have found time for another visit down to
the south coast, this time to visit Brian Simmons and his set
up. On entering Brian's lean to (A)
it's white walls seemed to reflect bright light all around. All his
plants were sat in saucers (B).
Brian waters from both the top & bottom. I was amazed how dry Brian
allowed his plants to get before being watered again. I've said before
its what works for you. The few plants Brian had were looking in good
condition, it is a pity he is only getting into cut blooms now after all
the years growing big pots. His ability to switch shows what a good all
round grower he is. Brian had an attack of mite towards the end of last
year & dunked his whole plants into a solution witch affected the
top growth with little going back into the tuber at the end of the year
& lost a lot of tubers.
We have now moved into July and the weather so far has been kind
for growing begonias, not too hot, all my plants for my early shows have
had their buds selected and all plants have been stopped
normally for me about 42 days for the longer varieties down to 34 days,
but due to weather and more important my plants that are looking good I
am happy to give them an extra 5 days. At last I am more than happy with
the way everything is going, the root system and the top growth are all
looking good, all I need now is the flowers to match (and the weather to
stay cool). Everything is now looking for more space, plants that have
been stopped seem to want more room, even the plants for the National
appear to be wanting more elbow room. Did I not say I was cutting back
on cuttings (D) 12 trays with approx
24 cuttings that's nearly 300, where are they all going to go?
Panda stiks (E) ordered & delivered 2
sizes 2 foots & 2.5 (in new English 0.50cm & 0.75cm). Yes lime green as
well. Although not too much is now happening its all a waiting game now,
the following few pictures are of random plants for my early shows & the
National. Can Can, Mrs Dan Ramage, Sceptre, Whispers, seedling from 2010
& Beryl Rhodes. Remember to keep an eye out for the loose stems where
buds have been removed (L) sometimes
they can cause stem rot, most times the little piece of stem will fall
away on its own but now & again I will remove it
(M). Watch out for holes in the foliage
(N) which can be caused by active
vine weevil or these little sods like this one that took 2 days to find (O).
Don't want to be doing this too often (P).
I have been busy collecting cardboard boxes 10 inch diameter
(Q) - we can but dream.
With everything at bursting point this is now where
everything is carried out - staking, tying & cuttings all from my movable
work bench (R). Any plants now
selected to flower and that have been stopped will start to throw out
more side & basal cuttings (S).
These I tend to rub out the basal cuttings (T)
unless its something I am short of is removed as well, I want everything
now focused on the flower. Mind you its now only 3 weeks to the first
show of the year, time to start PANICKING. I have a feeling already they
may be a bit late, timing is now my biggest learning curve.