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powdery mildew

powdery-mildew

powdery mildew

I noticed this white almost chalk like residue on my corkscew hazel the other day.

It is powdery mildew.

Caused by a variety of fungi  including Oidium, Uncinula & Sphaerotheca; the powdery chalk like residue sits on and clings to the top of the leaf.

It’s sister downey mildew clings to the underside of the leaf and is damp and fluffy to feel… So as not to confuse the 2, remember: powders could not sit on an underside [as simple as that sounds – to the non horticultural C.S.I. diagnostics team it is very important 😉 ].

Back to it…. One must remember that this is a fungal problem. And spores are spread by wind, rain or even plants rubbing together. Powdery mildew likes a dry site and fungi usually grow in areas where it has little chance of being disturbed. So, whilst it can be sprayed/ treated chemically… this will solve the immediate problem but, the chances are the disease will return as the conditions/ environment have not changed. My methodology is to remove all of the diseased material; then wait if possible ’til the off season and move the plant to less enclosed spot.

The reality is, one should also remember that this is not a bacterial disease of the plant so whilst photosynthesis is affected; and therefore fruit/ seed production – the disease is not as such detrimental to the plant.

Chemcal treatment is usually done via the use of a translocated/ systemic insecticide and fungicide mixed as most insects are disease vectors. Make sure [please] you have a seperate applicated sprayer to the one used for herbicide 😉 That said, I prefer working with nature where possible and would always first recommend the biological control first.

While I’m here… if you are spraying it can leave a white residue…. don’t confuse the two 🙂

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Harvest Time…

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the next day....

After so much rain… the sun finally came out. And when it did farmers worked literally round the clock to get done what was needed.

Opposite my home Barry was harvesting wheat. I popped across to have a bit of a chat with him….

If you have never seen it before… it is amazing to see a field, literally overnight go from fields of gold to a couple of bales in a field of stubble.

Have a look and see what you think… 😉

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A Fruit Tree Problem Shared is a Problem…

I have about 20 apple trees in my garden some in groups. Some seperate. One of them was looking particularly bad. I took a closer look….

There are two things that I spot immediately….

fruit-trees-pest and disease

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The scaring [left] can often be confused with the marks of apple sawfly…

….but these markings are actually a result of irregular water supply.

The fruit is quite small/ smaller than the fruits on other trees of same variety and some are out of shape.

The sudden availability of water causes the skins to crack.

This coincides with the time they where planted, the fact that they were containerised before and also that no mulching of any format was used.

The second is the wasps….

fruit-trees-pests ireland wasps

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the wasps…. [vespula spp.] are attracted to the fruits primarly damaged by birds… talk about lazy 😉

The suggested control by some is to find the wasps nest and destroy it.

I just can’t do that. Or you can cover the trusses with nylon/ muslin bags over the fruit before damage begins [?!] As long as its not in the house. There is nothing wrong with the tree. It’s simply the fruit that is gone from it for this year. What I will do it wait until autumn/ winterwhen all the fruit and leaves and wasps are gone and move the tree to a better spot.

A fruit tree problem shared is a problem solved….;) for next year!

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national organic awards & week

with all this talk of the FSA reports, Richard Corrigan talking about putting peoples heads in deep fat fryers – funny thing is its all just a big mix up 🙄 still, nice while the press and pr train rolled once again 😉

That said Richard also dislikes Bord Bia who once again will run national organic week and the national organic awards…. eh…..?

news just in: pesticides found in organic food ?!!!

ah sure if its not eggs its pigs….. or is it vegetables…. ?!!

After you play a quick game of pictionary…. scroll down for more details on national organic week and the national organic awards.

One of the Judges is Darren Grant of the organic superstore 😉

National Organic Week 14th – 20th September 2009.

funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and co-ordinated by Bord Bia, aims to raise consumer awareness of organic food, how to recognise it when shopping and where to buy  the freshest produce sourced in your local region.

Throughout the week consumers will be encouraged to look out for events taking place in their local areas which will be taking place all over the country to celebrate National Organic Week from farm walks to food tasting. It promises to be a great week.

Now in their 3rd year The National Organic Awards are recognised as an important feature of the organic food and drink Industry and Bord Bia would like to invite organic product entries in the National Organic Awards 2009.

final entries August 21st!!

for more info on the national organic awards – click here

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the amazing skerries mills

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I thought this would be a boring day out. The ones you got ‘dragged’ out on when you were a nipper. I also thought, at first, the €6.50 tour charge was a bit steep, I was [very] pleasantly surprised.

This, had to be, one of the best ‘tours’ I’ve ever been on. Skerries Mills is simply amazing -and it’s a lot more than just a tour. And before you ask, I wasn’t given VIP tickets to visit!

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I went with ‘herself’ for a bite to eat in the coffee shop and after some good filling home cooking, we took the tour. Paddy our guide has been involved in literally every stage of the renovation of the mills, going back ten years-ish now, into what it is today and he knows everything. Add to that a good sense of humour and one finds that it is the people that make a place.

From how the 55 acres surrounding the mills came into the councils hands, how spontaneous combustion evolved from static and flour and why the life expectancy for those [lucky enough to get a job there?] was only 40 years of age… is amongst the many facts that make the journey extremely enjoyable. Outside of that ‘The Mills’ are self sufficent, financially. That is, they have to break even. And they do, now.

€6.50! In my day we could have bought the entire mills for that and still had change for a loaf of bread…..

That aside, my other interest was/ is that we ‘are’ going back to the days of water conservation, wind power and home-made; gave me an insight into how ‘not so far away’ we are from those days of old returning.

As I said €6.50 each; todays made home made scones [i asked] and a pot of tea – it is, I thought at first, a bit my Dad’s kind of thing [at least I felt like him for a little…] but it was worth every cent!

Would I return – if only just for the warm scones!