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Friday 8th March, 2019
Phytopthera, Wilt fungus, Water mould call it what you will!
What is going on with those plants that they are looking like they are wilting at this time of year but you know they have had plenty of water as you have been diligent with the old H2O to make sure that they cope with this prolonged dry period.
Let me tell you that they are in fact wilting through lack of water because of a nasty soil fungus that has the common name water mould, not that I have ever heard it called this before. This pathogen causes the demise of roots, inhibiting their ability to take up water and the plant shows the obvious sign of wilting. It has been my experience that once they get to a certain point then its past the point of any return.
No I don't want to get too technical here as I will get out of my depth but there are differing fungal (Oomycete) species that affect different host plants but they all basically cause the same effect.
If I did my brief reading correctly there is another fungal species which is responsible for what we call damping off, Pythium spp, and I guess there isn't a nurseryman out there that hasn't lost a tray of seedlings to this other water borne fungal infection.
It would seem that there is a higher incidence of these symptoms at this time of year and I can only assume that its due to the prolonged dryness causing the fine, feeder roots to become damaged which provides entry sites for the fungus and the plant itself is stressed to boot.
I liken plants to ourselves and animals and any break in tissue is potentially an area for infection, and like us, too much booze, lack of sleep, bad diet, creates stress and allows us to be more susceptible to infections and germs that probably surround us.
Now there is some help and most good quality potting mixes come with the addition of Trichoderma which is a friendly fungus that will help with damping of problems of seedlings. There is also Bio-fungicide, which is Trichoderma, that you can apply to affected plants to help with Phytopthera or use as a precaution at planting time.
Sadly many of our clients don't seem to understand that such a nasty exists but I did have a client who not only knew and told me about the disease but was going to save a mature Griselinia in her hedge that was showing symptoms of Phytopthera.
Of course she grabbed a couple of boxes of bio fungicide determined to save her Grissie as there is no guarantee that it will work but the next time I caught up with her apparently it was successful.
Pears I managed to get two huge boxes from the trees here in the nursery and the other day I got quite a few figs, too many to just sit down and eat them raw so I stewed them in a light syrup though have to say that I quite like figs in a heavy syrup... When I told my mother that I had stewed figs in the fridge well her eyes just lit up and so I had to share LOL not a hardship really!
You know its actually quite easy to grow your own and even though the trees in our orchard are only a couple of years old I have harvested figs, peaches, nectarines, pears, apples, plums and prunes and add all that to the vege garden produce I have grown this spring and summer, well I have hardly had to buy any food other than flour, dairy and the like. I know that it takes just a bit of effort but well worth.
Fresh beans, silver beet are so good to eat and I will fess up but I have already got some winter veg plants in now. I'm determined that I will have leeks, brussels and other brassicas to have all through the winter. I am also going to take a leaf out of my spring garden lessons and plant just a few plants but space them out, every couple of weeks or so, so that they all don't come ready at once.
I need some additions to my orchard and so will have to have a look at whats coming as have space for another 6 or so trees. If you are planning fruiting trees then now is the time to go on line and check them out and put your order in today.
Same goes for roses, If we have it in stock now then they are all 20% off but if we don't and you are after something in particular, order it so at least you have you name against as some varieties are quick to disappear.
Hydrangea Ice Crystals typical Quercifolia or Oakleaf hydrangea leaves and flowers but everything all looked a lot more dainty than the species form... Flower was pretty cute too and you see how it got it's name Ice Crystals... Imagine that it will be a great addition to the garden suiting most positions including slightly drier as the oak leaves species do.
Hydrangea paniculata Candleight is not totally new but new enough to make a mention here. As with all the paniculatas, it has that typical cone shaped flower which will age or 'antique off' to a candlelight hue.
Well, not so new, but in stock now
Anemonesof the hupehensis var japonica kind are coming up to flower right now... great woodland plant that is hardy as and will just about grow anywhere. These look stunning when mass planted and there are flowers everywhere at this time of year. Choose from white or pinks.
Anemone Prince Henry, semi double rosy pink, Anemone Snow Queen single and white, Anemone Hot Pink speaks for itself.
Acacias are usually small and reasonably quick growing trees with a couple that are grown for their amazing coloured evergreen foliage and their masses of yellow flowers in the spring.
Acacia baileyana has very attractive glaucous blue fern like leaves.
Acacia baileyana purpurea has the same ferny foliage but the tips have or new growth slides from the blue into quite purple ends.
Acacia Curvaceous is one of those small growing weeping forms that is particularly suited to be in pots or rockeries but does best in a drier situation. Foliage is particularly attractive.
Considering we are at the high point of summer and with the temperatures you would expect plants to be looking tired from this heat and dryness. I have to say our roses have done amazingly well looking good throughout and just walking round them I noticed that the standard Icebergs are looking superb with a new flush coming in from their trim. If you are after some Icebergstandards then now is the time to get some nice looking plants. Of course we still have a good range of other standards available too and don't forget that all our roses are currently discounted.
Euoynmushedging $9.99 or buy 10 or more for $9.00 each and there are bulk buy options on the $14.99 grade as well. Euonymus is a very good buxus replacement option if you are looking for a small evergreen hedge that looks great clipped.
We are currently getting a nice sprinkling of rain but far from the all day rain forecasted so barely enough to break the dry period though I have to say it's definitely better than nothing. Once we get some decent rain then it will be what I reckon is the best planting season of the year so get those gardens up to scratch and plan for those autumn plantings. That's what I'm doing... I am making lists of the plants that I'm going to plant soon. I have found that logging into the Wairere website and 'Liking' the plants that I want to put in makes it easy to track what I want to put in.