Posts

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 🙂

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

mustard – seed, grow, crop, eat

peter donegan garden advice growing mustard seeds

..

I found it really hard to find information of any substance or at all in any books on this plant.

But, if ever you wished to go green really quickly this is the plant for you. I chose white mustard. Instructions say it can be grown on tissue paper! it is that easy. I planted the seeds a different way [no particular reason, partly why there are so many books on gardening I suppose…] then planted outside.

Some say crop the plant just before flowering, the instructions say when its 2″ tall? I say whatever makes you happy. Why? Because, again, the varying schools of thought suggest that the taller the plant the stronger the taste…

Now it is all cropped? Chop it. Eat it. Next time I can grow it to my own specific taste. My tip. Sow a little [about ten seeds] every two weeks and keep the crop turning over.

mustard white seed plant crop peter donegan

...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Small Gardens – good design

...

The key to ‘good’ small garden design is to make the most of your small space or to make it look as big as possible.

The first step in this is to eliminate symmetry ‘that can tell me how big your garden is’ [by just looking at it from a window] and also to use the brightest colours possible to increase light movement and therefore enhance the feeling of space and movement around you.

Consider it a little like a bathroom [?!!] ie. a small space. The smaller the space the smaller the tile, the brighter the colour and also the brighter and airy it becomes!

The second step is to ensure that the distance between fixed features and/ or hard surfaces is that of a meandering nature ie. it takes ‘time’ to get there visually or they fade to the background so as not to take precedence over those things that give a sense of distance [ie. black/ dark].

...

Be careful not to want to cram too much into that space. I know you might not like white; or you want a water feature or decking and ‘I want and I want….. and can we not?’ – the answer is always ‘but of course!’ But if the question is how do I best spend my budget to get the maximum return [both monetary and aesthetically] then you may feel it a good idea to take an experienced garden designers advice. That said client is king! I always suggest that for my free advice I can always give you a full refund!!

At the end of the day – gardens should be fun and the process for both me as a designer and also for the client should be one not of stress but of excitement. I know I have spoke about costs before but generally speaking [in conversation with a fellow garden designer yesterday] one should allow about €100 per square metre not inclusive of ‘fancy stuff’.

Consider it a little like buying a car. Can you buy one for a five hundred euro ? would you?

Other information on garden design:

If it’s not on this list. You can leave a comment and ask or take a browse through the categories list [over there on your right].

...