Propagating by stem cuttings is just about the easiest way to make more begonias for next summer's garden. During the fall, I regularly trim off 3-node long cuttings and put them into the growing pots where they take root.
Now that cold weather has arrived, I root the stem cuttings in a vase of water. It's a great way to produce more pots of Begonias for next summer's garden.
Water the plant well the day before.
Take a cutting about 4-inches long, with 3 nodes, from a healthy stem.
Use a perfectly clean container. Rinse the container with a drop of bleach if you are uncertain about its spotlessness.
Remove all but the top leaf or two. There should be no leaves in the water.
The cutting should have a healthy leaf node at the bottom. Don't leave a stub below the node. Place the cutting into the water, and place the container out of the sun. In a couple of weeks, you will see new roots beginning to form.
Check the water periodically to make sure it is still fresh. If it…
Before you buy boxes, bags and bottles of insect spray, learn more about digger wasps making nests in your yard. The Honey Bee Lab says "In most situations it is best not to eliminate ground-nesting bees and wasps since they are valuable in agricultural production by either pollinating many different plants or serving as useful predators in controlling harmful pests. However, when nests are located in areas such as yards, gardens, flower beds or playgrounds, control may be justified to prevent the chance of being stung." From Iowa State Univ. "At least 3 different species of wasps construct nests in the ground in Iowa. These "digger wasps" include the cicada killer wasp, the largest wasp found in Iowa. Cicada killer wasps may be up to 2 inches long. They are black with yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen and they have rusty colored wings. The great golden digger wasp is slightly smaller. The abdomen is reddish-orange except at the tip which is black. A third…
Moldy tulip bulbs are a big disappointment when you are hoping to fill a bed or some pots.
It is not that unusual for their skins to have a bit of penicillin mold but these are beyond that tad bit stage.
So, what to do? The plant references say to throw them out and buy new ones but I already spent $22 for 50 of these white tulip beauties.
First, they got a soak in 1% bleach solution in the kitchen sink in the hope that the bleach would stop the mold from continuing to grow without killing the life force in the bulb itself. After a good slosh around, I wiped them off to see how much damage was beneath the blue and black.
This tulip bulb is soft to the touch and there is little chance it will thrive in the soil. This basal root on these have been ruined by mold. The final step I took to try to salvage part of them was to spray them thoroughly with fungicide.
They are all planted in the garden now though some of them will probably not do well. In particular, the ones that the mold tu…