gabriola garden

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Researching Susceptibility to the Virus

This past week Sara removed not only the infected Tulip bulbs, but also the Daylily plants that are known to be susceptible to Tulip Breaking Virus (TBV). We discovered the virus attack when we returned from a three-day visit to Hedgehog’s favorite log cabin on a very peaceful lake.

I took stock of all the flowers in the infected patch, to figure out their individual susceptibility to the virus. The patch contains Delphinium, Phlox, Anemone, Primrose, a Hybrid Tea Rose, English Daisy, Foxglove, Sweet William, Black-Eyed Susan, in addition to Daffodils, Hyacinths, Crocuses, assorted Tulips, and Forget-me-nots.

I remember Forget-me-nots very well from my childhood in Europe, where it grows by the roadside as a weed in most countries. I always loved the delicate, tiny blue flowers that made you think of your loved ones. Faces from my past come crowding back every time I look at Sara’s Forget-me-nots in our garden.

Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) are biennial and prefer a shade garden where they are self-seeding. Sara planted them in the shade of our one and only blossom tree. But they will tolerate almost any light exposure and soil pH, as long as you provide them with adequate moisture.

Sara asked me to mix up another batch of our nutrient solution, since it hadn’t rained for three days and the garden looked thirsty. I started off with Iguana Juice Grow, even though many of the flowers in her garden are already flowering. However, the majority of her perennials are still undergoing their vegetative stage.

This fish-based 100% pure organic fertilizer has resulted in lush vegetative growth throughout our garden. Even the blooms of our Spring Bulbs benefited from the macro and micronutrients in this product. We still have neighbors and passers-by asking us what we feed our garden to make it so outstanding.

We also strengthen the roots of our plants with Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice. I mix this threesome into our nutrient solution once every three weeks, to top up the beneficial fungi, bacteria, and microbes colonizing our roots through the use of these products.

Sensi Zym is another Advanced Nutrients product that we use to cleanse our root zones of debris. The over eighty enzymes contained in this product actually consume plant debris in the root area and convert them to easily absorbable nutrients, thus promoting plant growth.

Forget-me-nots are usually grown from seedlings when they are first introduced to your garden. If you want to start them from seed, you must start 8 to 10 weeks indoors, before moving them outdoors in early spring. Forget-me-nots prefer rich soil, with plenty of organic matter.

In order to please our flowers, we mix Grandma Enggy’s Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid into our nutrient solution. These two products are derived from a calcified layer of an organic substance called “leonardite,” that is mined from deep within the ground, usually located above coal beds.

By adding these two products we manage to create the rich, black, humus-filled environment that grew all those healthy vegetables in our grandmothers’ time. Of course all the horse-manure that Sara carts in, as well as our composted kitchen parings help as well, but Humic and Fulvic work miracles with soil (they can also be used in hydroponic gardens), causing plants to thrive as never before.

Forget-me-nots don’t mind being crowded together, but you should never allow them to dry out. Some sources suggest trimming spent blooms, in order to prevent reseeding and allow existing flowers to last longer. We prefer to leave the spent blooms so the plant can reseed. In this way, we have Forget-me-nots in Sara’s garden, year after year.

Also called Garden Forget-me-nots or Wood Forget-me-nots, Myosotis sylvatica is synonymous with Myosotis alpestris or Myosotis oblongata. It is susceptible to the Arabis mosaic nepovirus, Carnation ringspot dianthovirus, Cymbidium ringspot tombusvirus, Tobacco rattle tombavirus, Tobacco ringspot nepovirus, and the Tomato black ring nepovirus. However, it does not seem to be susceptible to the Tulip Breaking Virus, so we’re lucky.

Just in case, I am respraying the entire garden tomorrow morning with Scorpion Juice and have remembered to add Barricade in the proper amount for week 7 of vegetative growth. Next week I’ll be adding three-quarters Iguana Juice Grow and one quarter Iguana Juice Bloom in preparation for a switch over to the bloom cycle.

Some of the pathogens that Forget-me-nots are NOT susceptible to include Papaya ringspot potyvirus, Strawberry latent ringspot nepovirus, and the Carnation mottle carmovirus. They’re also immune to the Watermelon mosaic 1 potyvirus, the Sweet Potato mild mottle ipomovirus, and the Tobacco necrosis necrovirus.

After several hours of diligent research on the Internet my head is reeling, so I’ll leave reporting on the rest of this flower patch and their susceptibilities until next week.

posted by Tim at 8:54 PM


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