Six on Saturday – 24/10/2020

I just spent the last hour blasting mealy bugs off cacti, at which point the skies opened and I ran for cover. Such a glamorous life. I was expecting to be fencing this weekend, the kind with bits of wood, not swords. Unfortunately only part of what I’d ordered was delivered, so now the rest is due Tuesday. Doesn’t sound like the weather would have helped so perhaps it’s for the best.
I’ll have a coffee, get this posted, then hit the cacti with SB Invigorator before putting them back in the glasshouse.

One.
Nematodes 1. I bought two garden Chrysanthemums earlier this year and one has gone well and truly pear shaped. I have the Hardy Plant Society book on them and it looks like I have eelworm, aka nematodes. Specifically it will be Aphelenchoides ritzemabosi, which attacks a wide range of hosts, especially Compositae. I can’t say I’m totally surprised as one of the adjacent Heleniums had similar symptoms earlier in the summer. I have no idea which had it first. Most of the advice online says it’s untreatable and to destroy affected material and sanitise the area as best you can. The HPS book says you can treat it with hot water. I duly dug both plants, discarded the tops and most of the Helenium, then divided the rest into single shoots which I washed thoroughly. I then submerged the lot in hot water at 45°C for 5 minutes, then into cold water. They’re now potted up and I’ll see if they grow away clean, or at all.

Two.
Nematodes 2. Steinernema kraussei, for vine weevil control. I treated young Camellia plants about six weeks ago but will do them again, along with Begonias and some succulents. I picked 30 grubs out of 4 9cm pots yesterday, too late for both plants and grubs now. Succulents are difficult, they get up into the stems out of reach of nematodes. There were millipedes and woodlice as well, but it’s the wine weasels that I hates the most. Today they all die!

Three.
Chrysanthemum ‘Jolie Rose’. The other variety is doing just fine and is a very nice splash of colour this late in the year.

Four.
Amarines. I was admiring a late flowering bulb in a friend’s garden on Thursday but when I looked at the label it just said Nerine. I was sceptical as it looked a lot like my Amarine tubergenii ‘Zwanenburg’ and not much like any Nerine I’d seen. Suffice it to say that https://jacquesamandintl.com/product-category/amarine/# is likely to get a return visit in spring. I think it may be Amarine tubergenii ‘Aphrodite’, from the Belladiva series. It’s doing very well planted in the ground and I think that’s what I’ll do with mine, which are in a big pot and only produced one flower stem this year.

Five.
Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’. The male Skimmias generally have much bigger flower heads than the females and the buds are ornamental for several months through the winter, opening in spring, so even without producing berries they are well worth having.

Six.
Geranium incanum, or maybe harveyi. I obtained this as Geranium incanum but I’ve never been convinced that’s right. G. harveyii seems a better match, judging pictures online. During the winter months it makes a tidy mound of silvery leaves then in summer it sends out long stems which carry lilac-blue flowers. One way or another it’s a good plant for 11 months of the year.

Tomorrow is the longest day of the year, all 25 hours of it. It doesn’t look like it will be a gardening day, any more than today, so progress will be made on the records for the National Collection of Camellias, my wet weather job. There will be gardening going on somewhere and I will be checking in at The Propagator to find out about it. Now I’m off back to my killing. Have a nice day.

36 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – 24/10/2020

  1. Why do those little worms always give me the creeps? I’m not squeamish but…..yuk! Still pretty colours in the garden. You have reminded me that I must go and check how the chrysanthemum that Mr P gave me quite a while ago is getting on. A couple of days ago it was in full bud just about to flower. I hope your delivery arrives soon but the forecast this week here is rain followed by rain.

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    1. I relish the thought of the vine weevil nematodes parasitizing and killing them slowly, but if it was offered to me as a method of euthanasia I’d decline. It’s rain all the way down here too. Gonna get frustrating.

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  2. Good luck with the washed and repotted heleniums and with the vine weevil killing. I won’t ask the despatch method you’ve got lined up for them! I like the geranium incanum/harveyi. It has very good leaves.

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  3. Yuk! Those grubs look awful. I seem to have a ton of woodlice in my garden, usually underneath every single pot if I haven’t raised them (dangerous at this time of year as the wind gets underneath). Are they anything to worry about? The surviving Chrysanth is a beauty.

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  4. That’s a beautiful geranium, even if it never bloomed I’d plant it. Some hardy geraniums I grew were so ugly out of bloom I pulled them out.

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  5. Those vine weevil are a curse. Thankfully, I haven’t had bother with them for a number of years. On the other hand, skimmias are invariably short lived here, yellowing initially before dying back branch by branch. Such is gardening; losses are commonplace.

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  6. The geranium foliage is drool worthy, and how wonderful that you can enjoy it for 11 of 12 months! I have a skimmia around here somewhere, but have never sexed it — well, that sounds odd. I must look at the flower heads and figure this out. I hope your weevil hunt was a huge success. Yuck.

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  7. I was very interested to read about your Helenium/nematode treatment and look forward to seeing the results.
    Also the Amarine. The pink one on the right looks just like one in my garden which also came with the name Nerine. It flowers just in time to be burnt by frost!

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    1. My Amarine is identical to my Nerines except for being bigger. I’m very interested to see the results of the nematode treatment too, the Heleniums look OK, they were’nt cooked, probably could have taken it a bit hotter even; so that’s one hurdle jumped.

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  8. Lovely geranium, whatever it is. I’ve made a note, but also know that many don’t do as well for me here as they did in my previous English gardens. Thanks for introducing me!

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  9. A very interesting Six again this week. I’m impressed with the amount of vine weevil! it’s something I don’t have here (so much the better).
    What do you think of SBPI? I heard positively about it ; I couldn’t find it in France and had to order it from the UK. 10 ml / 1l? Every week ? Or just at the start and end of the season? I bought it mainly for Spider mites … Thanks for your feedback on this.
    Do you know what is the time before eating fruits and vegetables if it’s applied to edible plants?

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    1. The bottle I have says to dilute at 2mls/L but it looks like they’ve diluted it now, at least in the 500ml bottles, so you need 10mls/L. So my litre bottle will make 500 litres when diluted. Looking on SB’s website their 1 litre bottle of commercial strength makes 1000L, they’ve doubled the strength from when I got mine. I’ve found that for £38.40, which comes out at 3.84p/litre diluted. The best price on Amazon for 500L of the retail product is £12.99 which makes 50L at 26p/L diluted. Or you can buy it ready to use, where a litre will cost you £13.98.
      They say no harvest interval at all. I’ve used it in a pump up sprayer to blast mealy bugs off various things, it’s good against sciarid fly too. It works against whitefly but you need to do several sprays at three day intervals. I’ve not used it on spider mite but I imagine it would work, it would just stick them to the leaves.

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      1. Thanks for all these calculations! I bought mine 500ml for 18€ without shipping. I sprayed on the spider mites without seeing any changes the next day … and also yesterday because I had aphids, and mealybugs on the nerium oleander but tonight they are still there. I will do several spays as you say.

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  10. I was interested to read of the hot water treatment to kill off the nematodes – I had not heard of it before. I do hope that your plant are now free of the nematodes. If Specks the chicken saw all those worms you collected she would be in seventh heaven! I have not seen a silvery leafed geranium before, or one with such dissected leaves. It is lovely!

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    1. Some Dutch growers use bantams on their nurseries to help control weevil but I assume they eat the adults; you wouldn’t want them rooting through the pots. I hope the hot water works, if it doesn’t I might try again at a slightly higher temperature.

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  11. Hope the repotting pays off. I need to get back onto slug hunts as a few perennials I’d grown from seed are getting nibbled. Apart from that not done bad on pests this year. We had torrential rain yesterday so don’t want to go on the lawn much if I can avoid. But sun is out so going to get patio jobs done.

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  12. Some beauties there Jim: Jolie Chrysanthemum with its rose colour, and nasty nematodes and good nematodes. Why dangle such a beauty of a SILVER leafed GERANIUM and expect me not to bite? First I shall get some of my Silver Cloak cuttings to root, then I might suggest a swap some time next year.

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