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Preparations for overwintering Begonias


By balcony


Preparations for overwintering Begonias

Just yesterday I had to make some preparations, for the frosty night we were expecting, to the plants in the mini-greenhouse on the balcony table.

Amongst other things was doing something to ensure the safety of the Begonias that flowered all summer on the balcony railings. As I want to conserve them for another year I’d got them to hibernate by leaving them to dry off & die back naturally. When I removed the foliage I decided to leave them in the rootballs, now dried out, till I could figure out some place to put them for the winter that was frost proof.

As space inside our flat is getting to be more & more of a premium I have no room where I can store them for the winter so I’ve been forced to leave them in the mini-greenhouse on the table in the most protected corner of the balcony.

It occurred to me that to be able to conserve them dry & with the rootballs intact I could put them inside individual plastic nappy bags. I tried one for size & found I could get it in with little effort but it was more difficult to tie the handles but this I managed. I did the same for all 13 Begonias in their dry rootballs! This has the advantage of keeping the rootballs dry & complete. I found the compost broke away from the rootballs very easily but this way they will remain intact! Being dry there will be no moisture to cause the tubers to rot. Though the bags are far too thin to provide protection for the tubers I think the dry compost will do the trick.

The “Proof of the pudding is in the eating”, they say so I will have to wait & see if they sprout again in the spring before I will know if they survive!

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I was faced with the same dilemma. A cardboard box in my basement will have to do.

30 Nov, 2016


A heavy duty Polystyrene container and lid would go a long way to keeping them frost free it is if you can find one, and as an after though drop in a hot water bottle if temperatures are going to drop to minus 6/7 c as they did here last night

30 Nov, 2016


I usually just tip my pots on the side and put them in the back of the barn, sometimes chucking straw over the top of them. this year we have had two days of heavy frost and the poor things are still lying on their sides around the edge of the pond. Left there to dry off and deter the heron!
The polystyrene boxes can sometimes be got from a friendly Greengrocer as broccoli and similar are usually packed in them and what else would he do with them? Mice are probably the bane of stored bulbs and tubers, my tulips went missing, some of the begonias and dahlias too!

30 Nov, 2016


Thank you for your advice, Brian & Honeysuckle. A polystyrene box sounds like a great idea, but, how do I get 13 rootballs of Begonias into one & then where do I put it? Supposing I could find one or two.

I know - you are going to say: "Break the rootballs up & put the tubers in the box in the dry compost"! LOL! :-D)

Well that's certainly an idea!

No problems with rodents here, fortunately!

We also had -4C here last night! But it's a beautiful sunny day! :-))

30 Nov, 2016


My mom used to wrap them in newspaper and stick 'em in the kitchen cupboard or under the bed, lol!

30 Nov, 2016


That was a good idea. I hope it works :)

30 Nov, 2016


My aunt used to wrap hers in newspaper, her dahlias were stored in the same way, then in a box hidden away at the bottom of a cupboard...

2 Dec, 2016


Hi Balcony... lots of useful info. there.
Added to GoYpedia.

4 Dec, 2016

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