Our September meeting featured one of our favorite speakers, Craig Morrell, the horticulturist at Pinecrest Gardens. Craig has been there for eleven years prior to which he was the horticulturist at the Boca Raton resort. He now has only a staff of three gardeners to help him maintain the 15 acres that make up Pinecrest which used to be the old Parrot Jungle. Craig also told us that on the second Wednesday of each month he gives a lecture at 10 a.m. which is free to all.
Craig’s talk was about growing begonias and about controlling pests and disease. He gave us the following tips: amend the soil in spring and fall with some milorganite and bone meal and then add some Dynamite fertilizer to the mix. Can also mix in some coffee grounds. For hanging baskets during the winter when there is far less rain Craig suggests adding some water grabber crystals. He then discussed the various components of fertilizers and said to increase the phosphorus amount to get more spring flowering. Use “dip ‘n grow”, a liquid rooting hormone, at the rate of 3 or 4 drops per gallon.
For fungus, use sulfur he recommended. Neem oil and conserve for caterpillars (on plumeria) were also suggested. He referred us to this website: www.domyownpestcontrol.com.
Craig also showed us a product called turface, a ground and fired clay that feels like sand. He said you can grow seeds or cuttings in it directly as it maintains enough moisture.
Our speaker next month is Dr. Freda Holley from Louisiana. She is a famous hybridizer of begonias and has written extensively about them including the pamphlet “Raising Cane: Experiences in Growing the Species Cane Begonias”.
Please bring a friend to this meeting which promises to be especially enlightening. And think about helping us at the November plant sale at Mounts where we will have a booth!
President Suellen Solodar called the meeting to order at 7:30pm.
Thanks to Patrick Dempsey for getting to the building early to hold the room for our meeting.
Thanks to everyone that brought refreshments.
Suellen welcomed New Begonia members Rebecca Stallard and Nancy Cavnar.
Visitors: Patricia Charlton, Kitty Philips, Rosemary Hymes were also welcomed.
Treasurer’s report was given by Frances Drescher, reporting $2,431.88 in the bank.Old Business
Suellen announced if anyone interested in serving on the board, voting will be in November.
Suellen announced we have a booth at plant sale at Mounts November 6th and 7th, we are anticipating a big turnout at sale, our booth will be informational introducing begonias to the general public, and encourage people to join our society and discover the beauty of Begonias.
Volunteers are needed for sale, a sign up sheet was passed around and also will be at up-coming October meeting.
Thanks to Johanna for donating Dregia cuttings they are semi tuberous from South Africa.
October meeting will be October 5th the 1st Monday in October.
Suellen introduced our speaker Craig Morrell.
Craig is grower and horticulturist for the last 40 years.
Craig’s in depth presentation was on cultivating the soil and building it up for growing healthy plants including begonias and other plantings. He brought several products and explained in detail how to use them in planting begonias and other plants. He provided several handouts, and explained each one in detail, info on where to order several products, foliar feeding instructions and elements.
His presentation was very informative and we gained a lot of knowledge.Respectfully submitted,
BRING A FRIEND TO THE NEXT MEETING