Latest posts by Pat12

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Talkback: Caterpillars

Posted: 05/09/2012 at 10:01

Spraying with 1 part milk to 2 parts milk (I use skimmed) deters cabbage white butterflies from landing to lay their eggs - they're put off by the smell. Worked for my purple sprouting broccoli and kale for a week, then had to re-spray. Be interested to hear if anyone else tries this and success rate. (Next year I plan to net my broccoli to avoid this problem...)

Sweet Pea Queries

Posted: 29/08/2012 at 10:51

Hi Hollie-Hock - just for the record, p/permangante is actually an organic gardening method - I found it in my old fashioned organic gardening book by Lawrence D Hill - he's v strict about his organic methods, ones that don't harm beneficial insects etc and knows his stuff. Altho I agree that it sounds drastic! Its also used for some skin conditions as a mild antiseptic. 

But as the milk solution is a quick and easy way to put the PM on hold at least, I haven't tried the p/permang. 

But autumn sowing also helps with PM resistance, apparently. 

Sweet Pea Queries

Posted: 28/08/2012 at 11:58

Some good news on powdery mildew! MILK SOLUTION stops the spread of PM and enables new growth (also deals with aphids that attack plants weakened by PM). Pick off the worst affected leaves, douse the rest in milk solution - 1 part milk, 9 parts water (or 1:4 if its really bad) - use in bright sunlight for best results. Skimmed milk is best (less smell and the fat isn't necessary). Milk acts as an antibiotic and also feeds the plant. Its cheap and easy and doesn't harm beneficial insects. After two treatments, my sweet peas are looking much healthier and have put out new shoots. 

Potassium permaganate soution will actually cure PM but is harder to get hold of. 

Perennial Geraniums

Posted: 24/08/2012 at 19:06

I've got several different perennial geraniums which have always flourished - but in the last week I've noticed reddish spots on the leaves, which are getting puckered too, and the plants look very unhappy. Help! Any ideas what the problem could be?

Sweet Pea Queries

Posted: 21/08/2012 at 11:48

Thank you David K. Very helpful - and next time I will ensure better ventialtion between plants. Would you advise cutting down the mildewed sweet peas? They're still growing and flowering (over 8 foot tall!) so I'm tempted to just leave them while they're still growing. I'm in south Bristol where there's plenty of mildew spore in the air anyway, it seems... 

Sweet Pea Queries

Posted: 20/08/2012 at 11:49

My sweet peas, growing up a hazel tunnel with french beans, have been flourishing but now have green aphid infestation and a lot of powdery mildew. Currently I'm wiping the aphids off by hand daily (horrid job) which is limiting them a bit (very few ladybirds in our garden this year). I've seen online a recipe for treating both organically with a mix of 1 Tablespoon of baking soda & 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap to a gallon of water - any experience of how effective this is?  

And will the aphids & powdery mildew also infect my french beans? (At the moment they are looking fine)

Thank you!

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