The Bearded One

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Posted: 04/08/2013 at 23:38

 @ Smokin Donkey

As you said pre planning and good winter sowing will help I sow phacelia for that very reason it attracts lacewings, avoiding mono-crops and encouraging native wildlife will cut down drasticly on pests (otherwise we would be moving through a cloud of whitefly so thick it would be like polystyrene) however, that is not going to help the poster with his current problem unless he sees fit to keep them hanging around whilst he waits for his plants to grow.


Of course you always should grow what you can yourself, its so much more satisfying that way. However if you check plants you buy in then you should get no problem from a good nursery or plant shop.

Blossom End Rot (Toms)

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 23:25

The cause of blossom end rot is a lack of calcium, that however is most often caused by poor water transport through the plant, stopping shy of the end of the fruit and is fairly common.

Most nutrients are salts, especially nitrogenous ones, if these are applied too often and especially to dry soil then it draws the moisture out of the roots and therefore stops the plant moving it around. the best thing you can do is water if the plant is dry and water thoroughly.

Just remember, to make things harder if you over water you cause splitting and tastelessness in the fruits so don’t water if it isn’t needed.

Honeysuckle mildew

Posted: 04/08/2013 at 23:18

Ah yes, works by confusing the fungus by effectively altering the 'feel' of the leaf, the fungus cant find the landmarks associated with the plant and therefore dosent find stomata to infect.

Works well but needs to be reaplied after heavy rain and can start to smell a bit though.

Honeysuckle mildew

Posted: 03/08/2013 at 19:58

If its powdery mildew then that is prevalent in hot dry conditions, its a fairly weak pathogen that effectively desiccates the plant. You can retard it and control, just by increasing humidity (although honeysuckle is very commonly infected).

A chemical control is anything mycrobutinol based (think rose clear) however as always fungus problems are much easier to prevent than to cure!

help: bindweed is coming over from neighbour!

Posted: 03/08/2013 at 12:45

The problem with spraying the bindweed is its relatively low concentration that doesn’t affect the entire root system on a large plant, therefore weakening it but not readily killing it.

By putting glyphosate solution in a clear container in the sun, the bindweed absorbs the solution as it photosynthesizes (there was an old test when people didn’t understand plants growing, they had plants in water in light and dark rooms, the plants in the light absorbed water) and this means you basically overdose the plant and it is incredibly effective!

Tomato problems

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 12:56

Quite possibly verticillium wilt, it’s a very common soil borne disease and so easy to transmit, you can normally find brown/grey streaks in the stem as it chokes the xylem.

There’s not really anything you can do although high humidity and lower heat will help the plant survive a bit longer, as will hypothetically adding potash and phosphorous which are used in the vascular tissue.


Posted: 02/08/2013 at 12:38

Smokin, whilst I agree with you chemicals aren’t the only way to deal with them, I have never had good success with companion planting and the OP I believe has a problem he wants solved quickly rather than in 2 months or so.

Whilst you shouldn’t go pouring litres of chemicals everywhere you go, they do have their place when used responsibly and I did also recommend biological agents (one I forgot to mention is Bacillus thuringiensis a soil dwelling bacteria)

What triggers annuals to go to seed?

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 12:31

Sam, you are entirely correct, the day length is how plants judge when to flower/germinate and moderates they grow. What production companies do is limit this by blacking out or adding additional light, artificially changing day lengths in greenhouses.

What you will find is it is possible to keep it growing for a long time but after a while It will start to be less productive so you could get a long productive growth but may need a few plants. You can for cabbage for example turn it into an almost tree form and get happily perennial tomatoes with the right light/heat levels.

What's the star in your garden right now

Posted: 02/08/2013 at 12:20

I don’t have much in the way of a garden but I grow African blue basil for sale and had a specimen for a few months in the greenhouse... It grew to 3ft and was absolutely stunning (and had about 20 bees on it at once most of the time)

poorly plum tree

Posted: 01/08/2013 at 12:55

That looks to be interveinal chlorosis, normaly caused by an iron or magnesium deficiancy. Try giveing it a dose of sequestrine go for one which has magnesium, manganease and iron if possable (or you will need epsom salts as well if it is magnesium).

If you are not an organic gardener you could consider a bit of Vitax Q4 as it is a superb feed, in particular for roots and flowering (5.2-7.5-10 NPK) with all the trace elements

Seaweed, has a slightly overgrown reputation in my eyes as a feed, although it is organic (and the easiest way to add trace elements in an organic system).

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