Previous favorite that retains on flowering

Tuberous begonias… finest grown in partial shade or filtered mild. Picture: Jackie Warburton

Tuberous begonias are an old style plant that grows properly in Canberra, with the suitable situations in summer time, writes gardening columnist JACKIE WARBURTON.

ALL begonias want good drainage, and do higher in pots and hanging baskets the place the flowers might be seen and cascade.

Jackie Warburton.

Finest grown in partial shade or filtered mild, with cool nights and safety from the winds, it’s a lush tropical plant with enticing foliage and flowers constantly till the frost comes. 

The colors vary from whites and pinks to vivid reds; there are such a lot of to select from. 

Most significantly, to maintain a begonia flowering at its finest, pinch out the feminine flowers (those with 4 petals) and depart the flowers with a number of petals as they’re the male flowers and have a lot showier blooms.

Slightly compost or slow-release fertiliser is all they should develop properly, however don’t overdo the meals or it might result in stem rot and fungal situations.

There are different kinds of begonias that may be grown in our local weather as properly, resembling wax begonias, painted-leaf begonias and the ever-popular rex begonias, all price a attempt.

The venation and leaf form of begonias are placing; it’s a terrific trying plant even when not in flower.

Propagating is completed finest now as a leaf slicing. Single-leaf slicing produces many crops, making a fast solution to enhance a set.

Utilizing a big leaf, reduce the leaf away from the stalk, flip over and make slashes alongside the undersides of the principle veins, flip again and pin down on to seed-raising combine. Maintain the leaf in touch with the potting combine and maintain it moist to encourage new development from the place the cuts had been made.

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As soon as there’s good development on the brand new plantlet, take away from the previous leaf, put it in a potting combine and maintain it indoors till spring.

Begonias might be handled as annuals, or they are often saved for replanting when the climate has warmed after winter. To retailer tubers for his or her winter dormancy, take away all of the leaves from the plant and prime up with contemporary potting combine in autumn. Maintain dry, place in a darkish place behind the backyard shed and don’t water till spring or while you see new development, then convey them out into dappled daylight. 

Potatoes… Dutch Cream, left, and Otway Crimson. Picture: Jackie Warburton

POTATOES additionally like darkish locations. They’re in abundance in my backyard now. Potatoes are straightforward to develop for the house gardener and is usually a good use of soil in a big house.

They flourish in good, fertile, well-drained soil and are gradual growers however a long-term crop and bang to your buck.

Messy crops to develop, potatoes want some room. As soon as the flowers and foliage start to wilt and die, they’re prepared to reap.

They are often dug up abruptly, and if grown properly over the summer time, the yield must be not less than six to seven kilograms from each kilogram planted.

Leaving potatoes within the floor and harvesting when wanted known as “bandicooting”, utilizing your hand to softly transfer across the soil beneath the plant to reap.

There are two primary teams of potatoes’, they’re both floury or waxy to eat. I’ve one in every of every, Otway Crimson and Dutch Cream.

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Otway Crimson is finest for baking, frying and roasting; Dutch Cream, for salads, casseroles and soups.

Each retailer properly and are versatile within the kitchen. Planting time is round October by to November. Plant in full solar, in good weed-free soil that’s not too wealthy with natural matter.


  • Sow winter greens – swede, turnips, carrots.
  • Transplant cabbages, cauliflowers, celery, broccoli, brussels sprouts and lettuce. 
  • Plant winter flowers resembling alyssum, calendula, pansies and violets.
  • Liquid fertilise all crops within the cool of the day.

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Ian Meikle, editor