gabriola garden

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Too Much Rain, Scorching Sun, Fewer Blooms

While the British Isles are drowning, the rest of Europe is being baked and scorched. We’ve had our own share of torrential rains, followed by short bursts of hot sun. Climate change is having a direct effect on both Sara’s flower garden and my vegetable patch.

In one short word, the main effect is foilage. As opposed to the full array of colors at this time of year, Sara’s flowerbeds are covered in lush, green foilage. Ditto for my vegetables, which are showing a dearth of flowers.

The solution, as voiced by a garden guru on CBC radio, is to apply a low or no Nitrogen fertilizer, that is high in Phosphorus and Potassium. In our case, it’s an extra application of Iguana Juice Bloom, which has an NPK of 4-3-6, boosted by spraying our foliage with Colossal Bud Blast, which has an NPK of 0-3-6.

The combined NPK of these two products is 4-6-12, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. Although primarily a foliar spray, Colossal Bud Blast can also be applied to the root zone with comparable results, all through the vegetative and bloom stages of our plants.

Actually, it’s mostly my Tomatoes that lack an adequate number of flowers. Our Scarlet Runner Beans are filling in the bamboo structure rather nicely and the large-leaved foliage is covered with their distinctively delicate red blooms.

Some of Sara’s Clematis is still flowering, and a few of our different varieties of Phlox have burst into bloom. Hedgehog is enthused by the Double Purple Cone Flower that has given us a few distinctive large blooms.

I wish I could say the same for our Roses. All the rain, followed by extremely hot sunshine, has had a negative effect on our Rose production this year. Some of the yellow blooms (Sun Flare) are still around, but most of the red and pink ones have had it, as did Blue Girl, which sports a still healthy and vigorous bush, but no buds.

We are behind schedule in our fertigation, because Sara was afraid that all the rain was going to wash away the fertilizer. But now that it is sunny again, we’re applying our nutrient mix with renewed enthusiasm. Let’s hope for the desired results.

I bought two 50-Liter tanks, one for the bloom garden, the other for my vegetables. Figuring that this is the fourth week of bloom for most of the plants, I have to mix in 198.35 mL of Iguana Juice Bloom, 120 mL each of Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid and 17 grams of Carbo Load Powder.

Consisting of Arabinose, Dextrose, Glucose, Meltose, and Xylose, Carbo Load comes in both Powder and Liquid form, but I use the former since it’s more economical. These simple and complex carbohydrates are designed to boost the flower forming building blocks of our plants.

In addition to building bud sites, Carbo Load plays a dual role in that it also feeds the beneficial microorganisms contained in Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice. We don’t have to apply these root colonizers during week 4, since we included them in the nutrient mixes for weeks 1 and 2.

The helpful fungi, bacteria, and microbes in these three products are bioactive and multiply in the root zone of our plants, enhancing root formation and aiding nutrient absorption. During week 6 of bloom we’ll again have to apply 21 grams each of Piranha and Tarantula, and 260 mL of Voodoo Juice.

While both Tarantula and Voodoo Juice contain Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR), Voodoo Juice is a liquid suspension of five selected strains, while Tarantula is a powder containing the spores of numerous different beneficial bacteria strains.

As we all know, not all bacteria are beneficial. Many are harmful, while some are symbiotic, meaning that they establish mutually beneficial relationships with their host (in this case, the root and stem cells of our flowers and vegetables). The microorganisms in these two Advanced Nutrients products are “super symbiotic,” meaning that they’re extra beneficial.

Not only do they fight off harmful bacteria, but they make their way inside the tissues of the plants’ roots and stems and help fix Nitrogen from the air and soil into an easily absorbable form.

The microbes in Voodoo Juice also secrete plant growth promoting hormones into the sap of our plants. So not only does the root mass increase, but the overall growth of the plant shows great improvement.

Voodoo Juice contains 50 million PGPR super-strains in each millilitre. That’s an awful lot of microscopic helpers to unleash on our plants, but with climate change, we need all the help we can get.

posted by Tim at 1:37 PM


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