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Potato cyst eelworms?

December 4th, 2016 · No Comments

eelworm

Potato cyst eelworms?
Eelworms also known as nematodes are a phylum of worm-like animals. There are more than 25, 000 described species although it is thought there could be more than a million. Most are microscopic, less than 1mm in length although some species reach 5cm or more. They are very abundant animals in almost every habitat. Nematodes feed on a range of materials, some are predatory on bacteria whilst some are plant or animal parasitic.

The two species of potato cyst eelworm that commonly occur in Britain – golden or yellow cyst eelworm (Globodera rostochiensis) and white cyst eelworm (G. pallida) – feed in the roots of potatoes and can cause the crop to fail.

They can be distinguished by the colour of the developing cysts which are just under 1mm in diameter. The golden or yellow cyst eelworm passes through a prolonged pale yellow phase, which can be seen if the roots are examined between mid-June and July. White cyst eelworm changes rapidly from creamy-white to brown and intermediate colours are not often seen. Golden cyst eelworm is the more common species in the southern half of Britain while the white cyst eelworm predominates north of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and also in much of Lincolnshire.

Symptoms
Affected potato are stunted and the leaves yellow, turn brown and hang down. These symptoms develop from the ground upwards.

If an affected plant is lifted carefully, it should be possible to see many pin head-sized spherical objects, known as cysts, on the roots. Eelworm cysts are the dead bodies of females which can contain up to 600 eggs each. The cysts may be white, yellow or chestnut brown in colour and can be seen more readily with the aid of a hand lens.

Heavily infested plants die prematurely and yield a poor crop of under-sized tubers. When an area is first infected by potato cyst eelworm only a small part of it may be affected but in successive years the infested area will enlarge until it becomes impossible to grow worthwhile potatoes.

The eggs contained within the cysts can remain viable for many years as they hatch at a slow rate in the absence of host plants. When potatoes or tomatoes are grown in infested soil the eggs are stimulated to hatch in large numbers by chemicals exuding from the roots. The immature eelworms are microscopic worm-like creatures which enter the roots and feed internally on the cell contents. During their development the eelworms disrupt the uptake of water and nutrients, causing stunted growth and poor leaf colour. When almost mature, the female eelworms become globular in shape and burst through the root wall and are then fertilised by males. There is one generation a year on outdoor crops but two generations may be possible on glasshouse tomatoes.

Wild plants of the Solanaceae family are rarely attacked and are of no importance as host plants in the UK although some, such as the weed black nightshade (Solanum nigrum), will induce egg hatching from the cysts.

Control
There are no pesticides available to amateur gardeners which will control potato cyst eelworms, and so cultural methods should be used to avoid spreading the pest and to reduce infestations.

A high population of cysts may soon develop if potatoes or tomatoes are grown frequently in the same piece of soil. This can be avoided by adopting as long a rotation as possible. Self-set or ‘volunteer’ potatoes can maintain an infestation and so weed them out in early summer before eelworms can complete their development. Eelworm eggs can survive for up to ten years in some soils and so very long rotations are needed to starve out the pest completely. This process can be speeded up by sowing a half-hardy annual, Solanum sisymbriifolium. This plant’s roots induce egg hatching but eelworms cannot develop in the roots.

A worthwhile crop of early potatoes can usually be grown in infested ground after a break of five or six years. The increase in cyst numbers can be limited by lifting the crop as soon as the tubers are ready and not allowing the plants to continue growing beyond that point. Once soil becomes infested with cysts it is difficult to prevent them being spread around the garden, but steps should be taken to prevent this occurring on a large scale. Plants grown in infested soil should not be transplanted to cyst-free areas, and the roots, including those of weeds, should not be put on the compost heap.

There are some potato cultivars that have resistance to the golden cyst eelworm. These include ‘Accent’, ‘Lady Christl’, ‘Pentland Javelin’, ‘Premiere’, ‘Rocket’, ‘Swift’, ‘Winston’ (earlies); ‘Blue Danube’, ‘Kestrel’, ‘Nadine’, ‘Saxon’, (second earlies); ‘Amour’, ‘Cara’, ‘Harmony’, ‘Lady Balfour’, ‘Maris Piper’, ‘Maxine’, ‘Nicola’, ‘Picasso’, ‘Sante’, ‘Spey’, ‘Stemster’, ‘Valor’ (maincrop). The root exudates produced by these cultivars still induce egg hatching and the roots are attacked in the usual way. Females, however, are unable to develop inside the roots and only males are produced, thus reducing the number of eggs in the soil. White cyst eelworms can reproduce normally on these varieties. Crop rotation is still important, even in areas where the golden cyst eelworm predominates, as there is a danger that the other species may also be present and will increase in numbers if potatoes are grown too frequently.

Some cultivars also have some tolerance of white cyst eelworm, in addition to resistance to golden cyst eelworm. These include ‘Harmony’, ‘Kestrel’, ‘Lady Balfour’, ‘Maxine’, ‘Sante’, ‘Spey’ and ‘Valor’. The white cyst eelworm is able to complete its normal life cycle and reproduce in the roots of these varieties, but they are nevertheless able to produce a worthwhile crop, provided the soil is not heavily infested.

Soil that has grown potatoes should never be used in the greenhouse for growing tomatoes. If greenhouse beds become infested, the problem can be overcome by complete re-soiling, or by growing tomatoes in growbags or other systems, such as ring culture or straw bales, which reduce root contact with the infested soil.

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Tips On Growing Camellias.

November 30th, 2016 · No Comments

Camellias need to be in a position in your garden that does not receive the sun before mid morning.The reason for this that the flower buds can drop if they thaw to quickly in the early spring frosts.Placing them in a position that allows them to be heated up by air temperature before the sun hits them means that they thaw at a slower rate.

In addition to this they like a open soil,slightly on the acid side.In the summer months its worth feeding with liquid tomato food as this contains magnesium and potash both key to flowering for Camellias .

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Pruning clematis montana rubens

November 30th, 2016 · No Comments

clematis-montana-rubens

Pruning clematis montana rubens 

They tend to be quite robust with regards to pruning so no need to worry about pruning it too hard. In the first season the pruning should be more about training tieing in shoot to get the plant to grow in the direction and areas you wish it to grow. Then in the 3 or 4th season you will need to prune it back to this framework you have created as montana rubens tend to become very woody. Hoever the good news it that if pruned back to bare stems they shoot quickly from dormant buds and if pruned in the winter or early spring they will flower on this new growth.

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Autumn leaves on the lawn

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

It’s best to clear autumn leaves from the lawn regularly through the autumn and early winter period as if left they become damp and wet and can cause course fungal diseases in the grass.
The leaves can be composited in your garden compost heap or can be placed in black bin liners with a handful of garden fertilizer and handful of garden lime. Then in 12 months as long as you need the compost heap or leaves bin bags damp you should have composted leaves you can apply back to your borders or vegetable growing area.

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Getting your compost heap ready for winter 2017

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Now is a great time we getting your compost heap ready for the onset of winter.
If you have an existing compost heap that has been started in the summer now is a good time to remove some of the compost from the base and spread it on your garden borders and vegetable areas.
Ideally you need to leave some of the older composted material in the compost heap to maintain the bacteria and fungal elements to help generate the heat in the fresh composting material you will add over the winter months.
As always the key to composting is moisture, air, heat and nutrients for the bacteria and other organisms that help to break down the freshly composted material.
So you need to make sure your compost heap is damp and fairly open, if your composting material does not have an open structure for example if you’ve been adding a lot of grass clippings you can add some straw and mix the straw into the composted material, this will help create an open structuring in your compost heap and allow air to circulate. Nutrients can be introduced with a few handfuls of growmore or a liquid plant food applied directly into the compost heap.
Finally you need to keep your compost heap warm in the winter by wrap it in some horticultural fleece or better still some old carpet this will maintaining temperature in the winter and make your compost heap more productive over the winter months.

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Mushrooms in your lawn

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Mushrooms in lawns are quite natural they are the fruiting bodies from mycelium that forms beneficial symbiotic relationship with the grass plants in the lawn helping them to uptake water and nutrients.
The mycelium in your lawn helps to break down the organic matter in the lawns such as old pieces of wood or dead grass.
As a result of this action in the autumn or in damp conditions mushrooms form which are the fruiting bodies from the mycelium.
To prevent the mushrooms from forming you should cut your grass and box off the grass clippings feed your lawn regularly and carry out spring and autumn maintenance with scarification and spiking to prevent the buildup of dead grass.
If your lawn produces mushrooms will be fairly short lived and should disappear within a few weeks.

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Winter care of hydrangeas

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

Hydrangeas are not overly keen on being pruned back hard as they tend not to recover quickly from aggressive pruning.
Ideally you need to leave any pruning until early spring just as the buds begin to shoot. The idea being that the existing growth on the hydrangeas provided protection overwinter providing some protection to the crown and roots of the plants in the harder winter weather.
In the spring start by removing the dead and damaged stems within the plants next remove up to a third of the stems length to contain the size of your hydrangeas and encourage new flowering shoots to form. Finally finish with the general feed such as growmore fertiliser just to ensure some strong spring and summer growth.

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Winter gardening – looking after your tender plants

November 21st, 2016 · No Comments

As winter starts the drawing in there’s a couple of jobs in the garden you can do to make sure your more tender plants survive the winter. The key to helping tender plants survive in the winter it’s to stop or cut down the wind chill factor as it’s often not the actual temperature that kills plants it’s the lowering of the air temperature by the wind causing wind chill factor which has a much lower temperature than the actual ground or still air temperature.
The two main methods to cut down the wind speed is creating a temporary windbreak with a protective netting material placed around the plants on the windward side to filter the wind and create a microclimate and secondly to use horticultural fleece to wrap up such plants as tree ferns and other tender plants

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Over Wintering Geraniums In A Cold Green House.

September 24th, 2016 · No Comments

Question
Please could you tell me the best way to over winter geraniums in a cold greenhouse? Thank you.
Answer
Over wintering geraniums in a cold green house is simple as long as you follow these steps. Firstly, pot you geraniums up if they are not already in pots, then over the months of october and November reduce the watering until the compost it almost dry. Secondly, prune the plants back to remove all the soft growth, the material removed can be used as softwood stem cuttings. In the green house the plants are best covered with a fleece to help maintain an even temperature during the day and stop any frost damage at night. If the forecast is for heavy frost then you might have to take the plants inside your house for a few days or heat the green house to provide frost protection. Finally, and most importantly you need to ventilate the greenhouse as often as the weather allows in order to help keep down the moisture and damp, as this will help stop the spread of fungal disease. Keep an eye open for moulds on the plants stems and if you see any mould remove the branch and place in a bin not on the compost heap. For More information click here

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Moving A Tree Peony.

September 1st, 2016 · No Comments

Tree peony – they hate being moved and are know to sulk if they are.However if you are desperate to move it then you need to did as big a hole as possible and the best time would be now or in the autumn.Bear in mind that it will need to be well watered throughout the summer if you move it now and during its first year after moving. One final point the roots of a tree peony are very soft so do not move it when the ground has the slightest hint of frost.

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Moving A Monkey Puzzle Tree.

September 1st, 2016 · No Comments

Monkey puzzle tree if its under 2 metres high the best thing would be to dig a trench around it this now and back fill with friable compost and then plan to move it in the autumn.This is to induce a more fibrous root system before it gets moved.The best time to trasplant it would be June next year. Being an evergreen and not having a dormant season as such, it might be a good idea to to clog up its stomata (the breathing holes in the leaves) with an Anti-Transpirant spray.This spray would be sprayed on prior to the actual moving of the tree. It still allows the tree to photosynthesise and has no long term effects. Once moved the tree would need to be watered during the first year of establishment.If you are short of time then dig the biggest hole possible and transport as much of the root ball as you can.To the back fill add some bonemeal and good quality compost.The bottom and sides of the new hole should be forked as much as possible so that the roots can grow away well. Water well.

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Moving A Privet Hedge.

September 1st, 2016 · No Comments

Moving a privet hedge this is best carried out in the autumn or spring before the private starts to send out new shoots.Your best bet is to try to move it with as much of the root ball as possible.Easing the root-ball onto plastic sheeting to transport it is a good way to try and keep the root ball intact. Prepare the planting holes prior to planting so that the root ball is exposed to the elements for the minimum amount of time.Mix some compost and bone-meal into the back fill soil.Make sure the planting hole is well forked at the bottom.You could try mixing some ready hydrated Super-gel to the back-fill to reduce the risk of the newly planted hedge drying out.You will need to water during dry times and during its first year after moving.

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Best Time To Prune Holly.

July 15th, 2016 · No Comments

When to prune your Holly the best time is during the summer – July and August is an ideal time.If however you want to promote bushiness then you can prune in June so that there is more time left during the growing season for them to bush out.If pruned in the winter months holly often can be damaged by the winter frosts burning the cut ends of the stems which in turn can create a weak spot from which disease or pests can take hold.

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Frosted Bottle Brush.

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Frosted bottle brush all I think you can do is wait and see.Come spring it may well start sprouting again.You could possibly protect it now with horticultural fleece, however the worst of the damage has probably been done.In the spring the way to tell where there is live wood is to start at the tips and scratch back the bark with your finger nail.If the wood is green then you know that you have live wood if it is dull – then the wood is dead and you can cut back that bit.Alternatively you can leave until you see new growth and cut back to that point.

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Climbing Plants For A North-Facing Wall.

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Most Clematis are fairly good natured about a north-facing siting, and they are fast growing – Clematis montana has a profusion of pinkish flowers in spring and Clematis armandii has a very attractive smallish white flower and has an early spring flowering.Or you could try Pyracantha orange glow,which has a small white flower and very showy orange berries.Climbing hydrangeas particularly like a north facing wall;they are lovely once they are established,but they are slow developers and can sometimes take some years to flower.Many of the lonicera (honeysuckle) family will establish well and fast on a northfacing wall or fence.

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Easy Inexpensive Garden Plants In Pots.

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Starting to garden there are many great plants that can be grown in pots relatively inexpensively. Herbs generally come in 9cm pots from garden centres and can be used in cooking too.I like to make a herb pot with sage, thyme, marjoram and fennel planted at the back.These plants will eventually out grow the pot but the combination of foliage and flowers go well together for a season or two.If you want flower power,then when danger of frost is passed you can pick up boxed bedding busy lizzies which will flower their socks off until the frosts in the autumn.If you are looking for bigger shrubs then you can plant Skimmias or bay plants.Skimmia Rubella is often available as a small plant for window boxes and in time will grow into a neat dome with fragrant flowers in the spring.You can also sow seed in pots – I like sowing annuals Thompson and Morgan have a great selection of seeds many of them easy to grow,Nasturtiums always do quite well. Good luck!

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Meconopsis Betonicifolia From Seed.

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

Sow February to July at around 15C (60F) on the surface of a free draining, sterile, damp peat/sand mix compost.Light is required for germination so do not cover the seeds – just gently press the seeds onto the surface of the seed compost. High humidity is required – cover the seeds with a transparent propagator lid or even a clear plastic bag.The seeds germinate rapidly – you should seed some activity at around 4 weeks, certainly by 8 weeks. If you don’t see any seedlings by then,place the propagation tray in a refrigerator for 3-4 weeks to pre-chill.Controlling the temperature is all important as high temperatures will hinder germination.

The seedlings are quite delicate and small when they first emerge – do not disturb them.They are also very prone to damping off. Hence, a sterile, well drainig medium is important.Prick out the seedlings when they have developed their first true leaves and grow them on at between 8 and 10° C until they are well developed plants.Then,harden off prior to transplanting out in their permanent sites.

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Damaged And Wilting Tree Ferns.

July 5th, 2016 · No Comments

Quite a few people are concerned about their tree ferns, with fronds that have lost colour and become blackened, or are curled and brown.Because of the particularly cold winter we’ve just had, it is likely that these ferns have been ice and frost damaged,and if the plants have not been able to dry out sufficiently, they may have been attacked by a fungus.Scrape out the mushy areas – but not too vigorously as you need to protect new and tender growth – and then try sprinkling the plant lightly with sulphur powder,which you can get from a chemist or a garden centre.It will take about three weeks to see if the fern has recovered.Flies can also be attracted by the fungus.As a winter protection, we generally recommend a fleece rather than a material like straw, which can sometimes create unfavourably humid conditions.If you use a fleece,you can remove it on mild winter days, to allow the plant to dry out a bit.Even now we are getting late frosts,so it might be an idea to invest in some fleecing, to protect the plant at night.

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Weed Control.

July 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

Question
What is the best way to control weeds? Which is the best fabric, a polyethylene type fabric or hessian?
Answer
For weed control,the fabric we recommend is one from Tenax.co.uk and can be found in B&Q.There are other forms but they tend to rot very quickly. If you need to create an old style, to fit in with the type of house,I would suggest covering the sheeting in bark or wood chips.
For More information click here

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Yellowing Cherry Laurel Leaves After Planting.

July 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

Yellowing cherry laurel leaves on newly planted plants on last seasons growth tends to indicate that the plant has suffered a shock or being checked during the transplanting or planting.It could also be the shock of winter winds so in this case in the spring we recommend feeding all the plants now with a handful of growmore fertiliser around the base of each plant,and as the spring season gets underway keep them well watered and they should grow away and recover.

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