Thursday, 15 February 2007

DIRT UNDER MY NAILS ...A SMILE ON MY FACE

Around Valentine's Day we always get our begonia corms out of their winter protection and prepare to "start them off" so we have a good early display in the summer. For those of you who may "throw" your hanging basket begonias away I thought I'd show you what a few years feeding and storing can do to them..........................

The corm on the left is in its fifth year and the one on the right in its third.










I always start mine off direct into the basket; some gardeners start them in trays of compost but my way means you don't have to disturb them again. I mix compost, vermiculite, feed pellets and water storing granules up and put a few handfuls in the bottom of the basket; then just gently push the corm into the top of the compost. As the corms start to shoot I slowly build up a depth of compost mix over them until its about an inch from the top (important to leave watering space)






If you click on this photo and look closely you'll see a couple of shoots have already started while it was in storage. As we don't have a proper frost free greenhouse these baskets will go into the cold back bedroom; any warm weather we have I shall open the windows up there (much as you'd open greenhouse vents); this will keep them short and stocky and make the hardening off process easy later on.






To prove this system works...this photo was taken 7th May last year









And this was taken late August...still going strong!








I had a look round the garden once I'd done this and was pleased to see some new shoots on our Japanese Blood Grass.









I thought this little Iris looked sweet poking up through the cyclamen.






Now to clean my dirty nails.............visit RUTH'S SHOOTS for a handy tip about this.

6 comments:

Melanie Rimmer said...

Those begonias are stunning. I don't do well with begonias. I forget to water them and they don't like that.

I've added a link to this blog from mine at www.bean-sprouts.blogspot.com (you have a lot of blogs for me to choose from!) If you'd like to link back that would be appreciated, but of course it is entirely up to you.

sisah said...

Wonderful photos and thank you for your advice how to cultivate begonias.
This is the first year I bought two corms of Begonias, as this is the first time I found that type I saw in England in hanging baskets in a german garden-market...just like in your beautiful baskets. I potted them last week. How long will it take until they sprout?
I can hardly believe they will actually bloom in May.

RUTH said...

Hi melanie; we are all linked up now!
sisah; new corms may take a little while as they may have dried out in the shop. As with anything to do with the garden timings are so diverse. Just be patient and don't overwater them until they are growing well. Although they are a thirsty plant you don't want them rotting off before they have their roots established.

Elsie said...

I always wanted a hanging basket, maybe I should try it this year. All you gardening ladies really make me ashamed that I am not interested in gardening, except for the pot plants in my house.

The Rooster potatoes look OK for the weekend snack recipe I will post tomorrow night.

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Ruth - what great advice. Your photos on your last few posts are wonderful.
I am so jealous and wishing I had dirt under my nails too...any day now...
I have never seen a begonia basket in America.

Jeanette said...

Hi Ruth Haven't tryed putting Begonia's in hanging baskets. You have given me a new project to try. Take care (((hugs )))to you and Mick

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