gabriola garden

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Leaf Miners on Roses, Slugs on the Zucchini

Whenever things get hectic in our household—when Hedgehog is chasing one of the cats and Jim is acting up and Sara is trying to answer the phone, balance our chequebook, and keep the pizza from burning in the oven, all at the same time-I escape by stepping into our garden.

There is great solace to be had communing with nature. Sara’s flower garden is very eclectic, so many different kinds of plants and flowers are growing side by side. Her Delphiniums and Monk’s Hood have shot up like there’s no tomorrow. The Catmint is in flower right now and has overrun the borders of several of her flowerbeds.

Another beautiful flower that’s at the peak of perfection is the Campanula Blue Bells. I seem to remember this plant at the side of country roads in my native Hungary. Its string of lovely blue flowers truly signal the arrival of summer, even though that season hadn’t yet officially arrived on Gabriola.

Sara attributes the thriving of her flowers to our basic fertilizers, Iguana Juice Grow and Bloom. We have switched over to Bloom in Sara’s garden, but are still using grow for my vegetables, which have yet to grow tall and lush like her blooms.

Of course, we realize that the other Advanced Nutrients additives, supplements, and root colonizers we use also contribute to the overall health of our plants.

Organic B. for instance, helps all of our garden to withstand and be able to cope with stress. It’s a natural source Vitamin B product that is easily absorbed by just about any plant, and permeates the plant cells with vitality and vigor.

We discovered two setbacks in this past week. Some of our Roses have been attacked by Leaf Miners. I’ve been lax with my spraying regimen, since my work has been occupying all of my time, so this particular moth has been laying its eggs on our rose leaves.

Once the eggs hatch and larvae emerge, they burrow into the soft tissue of the leaves and leave unsightly, white markings on the leaf’s surface. I’ve been spraying once every three weeks with Scorpion Juice, alternately with a mixture of horticultural oil and baking soda.

I will have to accelerate my spraying schedule to once every two weeks, alternating with the oil. These moths are supposedly repelled by the oil on the leaf’s surface. Luckily, only a small percentage of our rose leaves are involved, so the mere removal of infected leaves goes a long way to solving the problem.

We use Barricade regularly, but I ran out of it last week, so this week’s nutrient solution does not include this potassium silicate product that makes the cell walls of all of our plants stronger, helping them to repel attacks such as the Leaf Miner infestation.

Another problem occurred in the vegetable patch. Sara purchased some zucchini and cucumber seedlings that didn’t look too healthy. The garden shop was running out and she grabbed what she could. I had my eye on these ever since we planted them.

They never quite perked up, even with the application of Iguana Juice Grow. So I applied Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice to their roots. Still, they looked unhealthy. An application of Scorpion Juice followed, hoping to knock out whatever was ailing these plants.

They are still quire sickly and might have to be removed, in order to keep my other vegetables safe from any contagious diseases.

My vegetable patch started to show signs of slugs chewing on plant leaves. I bought some slug bait and sprinkled it around the plants. It seems to work.

I remembered the yogurt containers with the ragged edges and the egg shells that Sara placed around her Delphiniums and some of her other flowers. Judging from the six-foot plus Delphiniums, those slug preventative methods worked beautifully.

.Some of Sara’s Roses are already blooming. Her Stainless Steel shows a pink streak-edged bud, but once it opens, the flowers are a mixture of white and cream, sort of metallic in color. We’ve had a lot of rain, so some of the buds have brown spots on them, an unavoidable reality when growing Roses in the rainforest.

Her Blue Girl has one very special Rose on it, while Sun Flare has several Yellow Roses, with more buds ready to open. Sun Flare she bought from a garden shop just this year, while the single bloom of Blue Girl was one of the prides of her garden last year, as well.

Other flowers blooming in Sara’s garden at present are Sweet William, Campanula Canterbury Bells, and the perennial Lady’s Mantle Irish Silk (Alchemilla mollis), which grows in either sun or shade.

Its delicate lime green flowers appear in a cluster and add an ethereal touch to the garden, especially when morning dew drops cling to the flowers. It grows better in the shade, but with all the rain we’ve been getting, so far too much sun is absolutely no problem.

In the constantly changing climate of Canada’s West Coast it is hard to keep up with a regular watering regimen for your garden. You get up and see the black rain clouds in the sky, so you figure that watering is not necessary. Then you go out at lunchtime and the hot sun has already dried the soil from last night’s shower.

Sara and I try to follow the rule of watering only in the morning to give our garden a chance to dry out during the day. However, if the noonday sun comes out and dries everything out, we have to water in the afternoon, in order to keep everything from wilting.

It’s hard to follow the advice of the gardening guru on radio, who keeps saying that you should let your soil totally dry out between waterings, and then drench the soil to get the moisture to the roots. It makes beautiful sense, but in practice it doesn’t always work out that way.

Some of the newly planted vegetables look wilted and dried out by the middle of the afternoon and they’re begging me for a drink. I don’t have the heart to deny them the life giving liquid. Especially when the liquid also contains life- sustaining nutrients that feed our plants the finest plant food available.

Made by Advanced Nutrients, naturally.

posted by Tim at 4:51 PM


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