We had a splendid meeting earlier this month with our speaker from Newport Ritchey, Greg Sytch, who is also the horticultural correspondent for the American Begonia Society. Greg brought many more plants than he did in 2014 and everyone was able to select two that they wanted to purchase. And Greg took care of our gesneriad lovers as well, bringing some interesting specimens. The raffle table plants and the badge plant were also provided by Greg so we had multiple opportunities to acquire Florida raised plants that will withstand whatever Mother Nature throws our way. Greg gave us some interesting tips, some so obvious that we tend to overlook them. For instance, we have all seen beautiful begonias grown in very small pots. We buy them, pot them up into larger pots and then kill them because they remain too wet. So his message is: pot small! Begonias like “tight feet”!
Our begonia garden at the Mounts continues to thrive and needs volunteers. Please stop by on the first Saturday of the month. The garden opens at 8 a.m. and if you sign in at the bookstore before 9 a.m. you will get a free sandwich!
Charles Jaros will be our speaker for the July meeting and he will bring six-packs of plants for us to buy and then share with one another. We will grow these young plants and then in a later meeting see how we fared in raising them. In August we will be going to Laurie Hristov’s home and garden for a potluck dinner and an opportunity to see her wonderful plants.
Summer is clearly here so make sure your plants have sufficient drainage and not too much direct sun! Stay cool……
President Suellen Solodar called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.
Thanks to Lee Statkewicz for getting to the building early to hold the room for our meeting.
Thanks to everyone that brought refreshments.
Treasurer’s report was given by Frances Drescher, reporting $3,030.44 in the bank.New Business
Suellen announced she will be making a presentation at the next Master Gardener’s meeting.
Suellen also announced we are planning to have an advertisement in the Florida Gardener Magazine.
Virginia Jens announced that there were no more rooms available for the convention. It was voted to donate up to $100 to sponsor a Division Award at the ABS convention & that we would request to sponsor Best New Introduction, if available.
Suellen announced we will try to have an informational booth on Begonias and will be selling Begonias at next Fall plant sale at Mounts 1st weekend in November.
At the July meeting Charles Jaros will bring a 6 pack of small begonias for each member. Each six pack will be the same kind of begonia, giving members a chance to swap plants with other members and leave with 6 new begonias. (There may be a small charge)
August meeting will be at Laure Hristov’s house, meeting to begin at 6:30pm.
Suellen introduced our speaker Greg Sytch from New Port Richey, Florida.
Greg is a middle school teacher and grows Begonias in his spare time, Greg has been growing Begonias for 34 years. He is the Horticulture Correspondent for The Begonian.
Greg gave an in-depth presentation on growing and caring for Begonias. Greg provided several handouts: Begonias- Tricks of the Trade, Landscaping with Begonias, Rex and Rhizomatous Begonias, Angelwing Begonias, Potting Mix for Florida. Greg explained each handout in detail plus gave additional tips. He talked about Rhizomatous begonias having the most appeal; they grow well in small pots and like “tight feet”. Key to growing begonias is they should be moved only from one size pot to the next size pot. Improve the soil with peat moss before planting in the ground. Greg recommended good time release fertilizer Citrus, Avocado and Mango, cover the fertilizer with soil. Bone meal encourages plants to bloom, use in Canes.Respectfully submitted,
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING