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Fireblight

Two of the photographs above are of a collection of Sorbus trees that I had in my garden. They are now nothing but a pile of ashes. The sorbus you see are members of the rosaceae or rose family – the most of which are susceptible to a disease known as fireblight.

The first thing I noticed was that the leaves were shrivelled, dead and still clinging to the plant. [These photographs were taken the last week in January btw]. The buds were also dead but still held to the plant. When I checked inside they too were gone. Necrosis had set in and the stems were dying from the top down.

The cause of this is the bacteria Erwinia amylovora spread generally by the wind blowing, insects and rain splash. It is that simple.

The recommended method of control used to be to burn the plant and that was the route I chose. I guess old habits die hard 😉 But some books recommend the pruning of the plant well below where the fireblight can be found. I simply prefer the better safe than sorry route and the chances of it affecting some of the many other Sorbus sp. that are planted in my garden.

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Peach Leaf Curl

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As a by the way…. just because its called peach leaf curl, it doesn’t mean it only affects peach trees. It will affect most Prunus related species.

Anyhow, I don’t like this one at all. It simply looks so ugly…. caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans [the second part of the name says it all…], it is spread by rain and wind where it will hibernate in stem cracks, scars or wounds and there is literally damn all one can do about it.

The leaves become distorted and bubble up like big ugly red blisters. En mass, it is pretty ugly to look at and I kind of feel sorry for the plant…. especially when all of the leaves fall off.

Whilst chemical control via any sort of fungicide will do the job… in my own garden I prefer to let nature do what it must and maybe from a biological control point of way I may get involved…. But the leaves do grow back and hopefully the plant will come good. But isn’t that what gardening is all about…

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Coral Spot

coral-spot

coral spot

caused by the fungus Nectria cinnabarina these almost illuminous orange pustules [about 1mm diameter] take over the surface of the bark a little almost like having the measles…. [if you know what I mean] except for plants.

How they get there is quiet simple… affecting living or dead material the spores enter through damaged or necrotic wood and are usually spread by rain splash or/ and also from cutting/ pruning tools that haven’t been cleaned properly.

There is no real/ chemical control for this. But good garden hygiene is generally the best place to start. In it does infect, prune back to well below the last piece of infected material.

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lawn problems….?

Last year from around the middle of May through June Bank Holiday weekend climates and weather almost mirrored that of  what we are having now.

With reference to lawns here are the articles that I wrote then:

**images 4 & 5 are a patch of grass I started to repair about 6 weeks ago. The rest of the images are from last year [2008]

One should really take the first article and read it well. The second of course being my sense of humour but still a very logic answer.

I have prepared lawns that have had full seed germination within 10 days. I have also prepared lawns where very little to nothing will happen…

  • as long as one of the factors required for the growth of any plant is missing
  • as long as it is not ‘logic’ for the seed to germinate
  • as long as we do not have ‘typical irish weather’

And the answer to that of course is when it comes to nature sometimes patience is the greatest asset. My own lawn prepared about a month before I wrote the above articles is clear evidence of that and hence where I got the photographs from, The lawn sown in the pebbles almost a better germination…?

One may have had the soil prepared and presented well when the contractor left the garden… the soil may have dipped and hollowed slightly… some may have the ‘sahara desert’ cracking effect… in some cases some stone has been brought to the surface… all in all it looks a bit rough. I assure you – unless one has a bottom-less supply of rolled turf, a fire hydrant on full blast over night where the lawn will take in the most water and a shaded [completely] garden – no green [or very little] will appear… Funny thing is, the weeds will most likely grow there first.

I have just re-read – again – my article from last year…. and I once again realise that not even a degree in horticulture will help one here… it didn’t help me. It just helped me to understand better the why and why nots.

The truth is even when all of that is overcome…. the shelves of the supermarket gardens centres are brimmed with horticultural paraphernalia to help you and your lawn… and for very good reason. Clover, moss, weeds, fertiliser the list goes on *and* has done for eons…

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