It's Easy to Grow Tuberous
SOIL PREPARATION:Tuberous begonias
can survive in many types of soils. The most
important factor to be considered in preparing
any soil for begonia is PERFECT DRAINAGE.
A good potting mixture would consist of four
parts well decayed mulch (leaf mold or forest
humus), one part garden loam, and one part
coarse sand. If these components are not
available you can purchase a good
"potting soil" from your local
nursery. The mixture should contain humus, and
it should be well drained. Do not use
"planting mix". For outdoor beds it
is a simple matter to prepare the average
garden soil for tuberous begonias. If you have
a heavy clay-type soil which drains poorly,
add humus, sand, or both. If your soil is very
light or sandy, add leaf mold, peat moss, or
some other organic materials. If manure is
used, it should be mixed into the soil well in
advance of planting time. Fresh manure is not
advisable. Large amounts of peat moss are not
recommended except in very sandy soils or when
used with sand in the mixture. Also you can
use "planting mix" or fortified
humus to prepare your outdoor beds.
STARTING TUBERS:It is very important
that a SPROUT APPEARS before the tuber is
planted. If your tubers seem slow to sprout,
move them from the cool storage area to a warm
dark place. When sprouts appear, the tubers
are ready to be planted.
STEP I--Fill a nursery flat or
similar shallow container with the planting
medium, well rotted leaf mold is recommended.
However, there are many satisfactory
substitutes. The planting medium should be
loose, well drained and it should not contain
fertilizer or manure.
STEP II--Space the sprouted tubers
evenly in the flat--allowing four to six
inches between tubers for root development.
Bury the tubers--it is ESSENTIAL TO GOOD
DEVELOPMENT THAT TUBERS ARE COMPLETELY COVERED
AS THE ROOTS DEVELOP FROM THE TOP AND SIDES OF
STEP III--Water carefully. The flat
should be lightly but thoroughly watered so
that the medium is uniform moist. DO NOT
OVER WATER. Do not allow the planting
medium to become wet and some at any time.
STEP IV--Place the planted flat in a
warm place where it receives filtered
sunlight. A temperature of 60-70 degrees is
ideal. The flat should not be watered again
until the surface of the soil begins to show
dryness. As the plants develop, they will need
water more often and in increasing amounts. It
is important to keep the tubers in the flat
until the roots are well developed. When the
plants have made four or five inches growth
and the root mass is well developed, they
should be transplanted. Do not allow the
plants to become crowded or spindly in the
Courtesy of Antonelli Bros,
a wonderful US supplier of tuberous begonias.