How has Your Summer Been…Part I ??

It has been an incredible ride this spring and now summer.

I don’t know about everyone else out there, but we have actually had a nice season here in Manitoba. Yes there have been a few super hot days but never for long. Relief has always arrived after a couple of flustering hot quiet days.

Also much like other parts of the world, some areas around us, have experienced their fair share of flash flooding. This seems more of the norm in the past years, rather than the exception. Where have all the nice slow rains gone?

My garden fare is slightly on the leggy side, because of the green ash along our driveway blocking the sun for most of the morning, but I won’t complain. I know I have planted some of the rows too close, so it is partly my fault. Just trying to cram as many varieties as I can into the areas I have.

The 2″ of warm rain we received yesterday (Sat) is a blessing and I know that EVERYTHING will grow like mad now! BTW…the strawberries are wonderful now that the “Bandits” cannot access them. Even the bugs are confused by the floating row covering…nice!

Kale, Cauliflower and Cabbage look about ready to burst forth from their “framed” raised beds I had made for them. Maybe I won’t be able to cover them ??! AND the cabbage butterflies are NOW WHERE to be found as I can count the few holes that I have on 2 hands…L0L! Wow!

I think I have enough tomatoes…about 160 varieties x multiplies of each! Now the race is on to keep up with all the tying up and pruning! It didn’t matter where I planted the 3 lots…all are doing GREAT!

For the first time in years, I am experiencing iron deficiency (Iron Chlorosis) in a few unusual plants: Hosta in pots, Peanuts, some Peas (in raised beds) and Sweet Potatoes in reg garden soils. Usually members of the Rose family, Raspberries, Strawberries and fruit trees like a Plums, Apples and Apricots will display this problem. In my experience, younger plants will more likely show the problem rather than older established plants, unless moisture level issues bring it on. (…according to Wikipedia, the free encyl…)

“Iron (Fe) deficiency is a plant disorder also known as “lime-induced chlorosis“. It can be confused with manganese deficiency. A deficiency in the soil is rare but iron can be unavailable for absorption if soil pH is not between about 5 and 6.5.[1] A common problem is excessive alkalinity of the soil (the pH is above 6.5). Also, iron deficiency can develop if the soil is too waterlogged or has been (over fertilized?). Elements like calcium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, or copper can tie up iron if they are present in high amounts. Iron is needed to produce chlorophyll, hence its deficiency causes chlorosis.

Symptoms include leaves turning yellow or brown in the margins between the veins which may remain green, while young leaves may appear to be bleached. Fruit would be of poor quality and quantity. Any plant may be affected, but raspberries and pears are particularly susceptible, as well as most acid-loving plants such as azaleas and camellias.”

In my case, the youngest leaves in the center of all plants offered the yellow leaves, eventually turning almost white in a very short period of time. (Deficiency of nitrogen is the opposite with oldest leaves showing yellow and slowly moving upwards…)

What is crazy here…the recommendations were to add compost and well rotted manure! Well…the beds are composed of well rotted manure, compost, soil and sand! What is more crazy…10% of the (newer) pea var. introductions show it and the other 90% did not. Peanuts were also showing this in the new raised beds. (I have found this to be true last year, in reg soils…) Furthermore Sweet Potatoes were showing it in a new bed where nothing had been planted for 3 years…pure old fashioned garden soil…much like the soil they were grown in last year. And finally a few of my Hostas (in pots) were showing it. These I feel just need to be potted up into much larger pots as they are prolific growers with large root systems.

My solution, I did have some Chelated Iron around and off I went to rectify the problem. (Better get some more for backup!) The Sweet Potatoes were given 2 applications, as they had it the worst (together with Gaia Green) and they responded almost immediately. The center young leaves are now, more deeper green than the oldest leaves. I am thinking a good application of Kelp/Seaweed fertilizer is in order to not allow a repeat or return of the problem. Days later I applied the same to the Peanuts, the few Peas and Hostas. Some Strawberries showed a wee bit, so I stopped in there too! Nothing like sharing the love around. Esp. if it works…which after this rain, will make them really go to town.

I will share some newer photos in my next blog… Part II..

Blessings and Happy Gardening,

Mandy


2 Comments

BettyAnne

Well, if excessive alkalinity is the problem (our soil has a pH of 8.0), how about watering your plants with diluted vinegar? It\’s worth a try. I don\’t know much about fruit trees and iron, but I know that potatoes don\’t like alkaline soil. I used to have a problem with scaly potatoes and lots of potato bugs. Now, I pour vinegar into the potato planting hole, and bob\’s yer uncle! I couldn\’t have healthier potatoes – not one bug – if I prayed for it.FWIW. Best of luck, Mandy.

Mandy Botincan

Well…I will say vinegar has always been my friend. Pouring in the hole and the potatoes are actually thriving is good news to me. Thanks for that tip! I also know that planting them into soils having “fresh” manure recently added, will also cause scab. Manure mixed into Lily beds is a huge no no too, because if one doesn’t quickly cover the soil surface, the lower leaves will soon show disease problems from the splash ups. Also I remember the bulbs could also be effected…just saying. Ph levels are not monitored enough and I have reason to believe ALOT of problems could be alleviated if we just pay more attention. Thanks BettyAnne,
Mandy


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