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Name: Tim Davies-Moss
Question: When is the best time to plant trailing begonia tubers for baskets if I have no greenhouse?
Answer: Hi Tim. The reason that Begonias are generally started off in the greenhouse is that they require good filtered light, and this is best achieved in a greenhouse with the use of some shading to prevent scorching as the weather warms up. However, if you have a conservatory or a bright windowsill in a cool room then you can just as easily start them off in your home.
If you are growing them in your home it’s advisable to delay planting your tubers until mid March or even April. The light levels will be better by then so there will be less risk of brittle, leggy growth developing. By the time they are ready to plant into baskets, you should be able to move them to a protected spot outside. Just keep an eye on the weather for any late frosts, as you will need to bring them back indoors to protect them.
Name: Sarah Jackson
Question: When would be a good time to lift and relocate oriental poppies? Bought 2 as tiny root tubers years ago, and they have spread too close to a plum tree. They produce fabulous red flowers each year, and they deserve a more prominent place!!!
Answer: Hello Sarah. Your poppies sound fabulous and will definitely benefit from being divided. Your Oriental Poppies can be lifted and moved this Spring. March is normally a good month to move perennials as the soil tends to be workable and the weather is starting to warm up a bit.
Simply lift them with a garden fork, taking care not to damage the roots. Shake off any excess soil before replanting them in their new positions. Make sure that you replant them immediately to prevent the roots drying out, and give them a good long drink afterwards to help settle them in. I would suggest that you leave a few behind in their current position though, as they are clearly thriving there.