Monday, 11 March 2013

Planting Begonia tubers

At the weekend another part of my huge seed/tuber order arrived so Sunday morning I decided to plant them out. The packet said "plant immediately" which put a bit of fear in my mind as to what would happen if I didn't.

I am not sure if, post growth, I will be able to re-harvest the tubers and take them with me to my full time homesteading destination (any advice welcome) but hey, if they will die if I don't plant them now I'm not going to put them in my seed-bank to take with me because that would just be a waste.

Anyway, following on from my so-recently learned lesson my first task was to bring in and warm up some compost.

The five three inch plant pots brought in and filled with compost and sat next to the radiator, alongside the Carrots and Parsnips and Geranium seedlings. This surely is final proof that yes, I do learn from my mistakes.

I have never bought tubers before and this is the bag which they came in; it was a very lightweight material and had lots of holes in it to keep the tubers dry and aerated.

This is a Begonia tuber. Yes, I know what it looks like but trust me; it is. I am holding it "hollow side up" which, apparently, is the way you plant them also.

The method of planting which the instruction leaflet said (yes, I know, I read the instructions... How can I ever look my dad in the eye again!) said to put it on the compost hollow side up, carefully push under the surface, and water thoroughly, making sure however to not let water pool in the hollow. So that is what I did...

... I didn't get any pictures of that part of the process so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that this is a picture of the previously shown pots, post compost warming, with a tuber in each one, carefully pushed in and watered without allowing water to collect, yes you guessed it, in the hollow on the tuber.

Bear in mind that I brought the compost in at about 8am on the Sunday morning and then did this planting at about 11pm so this gives an idea that you can decide to plant something in the morning, and have warm enough compost in the evening, so long as you have your heating on.

Finally a couple of pictures to show that the heating of the compost really does work. This is a picture of two Carrot seedlings still standing up strong and tall and not wilting in the slightest. The mildew appears to have reduced also, though the soil still has some moisture in it. This is, I think, a success so far.

The Geranium seedling is also still looking just as it did prior to re-potting, another successful move operation. I did accidentally scatter some compost on the leaves while moving it but I don't think it will stay on there for long when the plant continues to grow.

Anyway, there you are; some more plants ready to start obsessively watching for progress, and some more proof that yes, you really should be aware of the temperature of your compost when moving seedlings from propagator to medium pot.


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