Latest posts by BobTheGardener

Grape leaves

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 15:15

Loss of colour between veins is usually a sign of nutrient deficiency (iron, manganese or magnesium.)  Have you been feeding it regularly?  If not, try using a tomato feed as these generally include the trace nutrients mentioned above.  As a short-term fix, spraying it as well as watering it in could be of benefit.  In the longer term, mulching the area around the roots with well rotted farmyard manure in the autumn should provide for its needs.

If it's a new(ish) wall, there is also the possibility that lime from the cement is making the soil a bit on the alkaline side, making it harder for the vine to take up nutrients.  Again, the FYM should help with that.

If only the oldest leaves are affected it could simply be those leaves are reaching the end of their life but a good feed would be a good idea in any case.

Which is best?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 14:55

Depends what they are and where you are (eg Basil rarely does well in the ground in the UK and toms are hit-and-miss depending on the weather) but in general, in the ground is best.  That way the roots can spread as they like, there is much less chance of them becoming short of water and nutrients as well as the secondary benefits of symbiotic soil bacteria and fungi.  Of course, there can be negative effects such as soil-borne pests and diseases.

Of those you mention I would say the beans are better in soil, tomatoes better in pots and cucumbers are 50/50 but need large pots if grown that way.  Brassicas always better in soil.

In my experience the best way of preparing soil is to dig-in well-rotted manure in the autumn and then lay a mulch of the same over the top before winter.  The soil will then be easy to lightly cultivate in spring when you can sow seeds or plant out veg started off in modules and/or pots.

Any idea what this is?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 14:42

I don't recognise it but it has the look of an orchid (although it probably isn't.)

Does putting slate on your pots help keep the soil moist?

Posted: 17/07/2016 at 13:21

Yes.  A layer of slate IS a mulch.

Evaporation is all about the surface area which is exposed to wind and sun.  Bare soil (millions of small particles) has a much greater surface area than a layer of slate/gravel/pebbles.

Rock is generally impervious to water so water cannot move upwards through it as the surfaces dries.  This is not the case for bare soil and water will travel upwards from the soil below as it evaporates from the surface.

Last edited: 17 July 2016 13:27:09

Ants in the greenhouse

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 23:34

Try nematodes.  Apparently ants will not tolerate nematodes near their nest and will move it.  No toxic effects so will not affect your figs.  Look for 'nemasys no ants'

Advice on scruffy aubretia, please

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 22:01

Best to cut them back (ie give them a bit of a haircut) immediately after flowering, which would usually be about late May/early June.  It might be a bit late to do it now and you could lose a lot of next year's blooms.

Can you I D Please?

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 21:51

I've managed to zoom in on the image and am almost certain it is indeed a rudbeckia and looks like a double form:

Very short stemmed amaryllis

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 20:02

According to this website:

"Stunted plants, flowers growing on short stems (out of their necks) and poor flower formation are usually caused by excessive watering prior to the initiation of top growth, nutrient-poor soil, improper storage conditions, and by under or over watering during plant growth. "

Chilli and Pepper plants.

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 17:53

The riper chillies are, the hotter they are, so pick them to suit your own heat tolerance is my advice.

Tomatoplant suddenly wilted

Posted: 16/07/2016 at 17:44

Ash is alkaline and coffee grounds are acidic so all I can think is that mixing the two have produced something the plant doesn't like (going back to my school science, that would be a salt.)  Remove as much of the grounds and ash as you can and give it a really good watering to try and flush the stuff out.  If it still looks the same in a couple of days, flush it with water again.

Tomato plants don't need any feeding until they have flowered and tiny fruit have set.  You can then water it with a liquid tomato feed.  I would avoid using ash on it which can be chemically too strong and coffee grounds don't really have any nutrient value, so avoid those too.

Discussions started by BobTheGardener

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1 to 15 of 38 threads