The good, the bad and the ugly of the wonderful sub-tropics.
Beautiful flowers, lush vibrant growth – and explosions of pests and diseases which also love these conditions!
I am learning about growing in the warm, humid zone these days. After many years in more extreme climates, from temperate to semi-arid zones, this is a new experience.
The recent years in Auckland have shown me that strategies which worked elsewhere are ineffective here. Interesting. So I learn new strategies to get a harvest instead.
In Auckland the weather has been warm and wet, wet, wet!
I am already noticing molds starting – even on calendulas where, in past years, it had not been an issue. An early start to a warm, moist, humid season?
Many fungus diseases LOVE warm, moist conditions.
The white/grey molds reduce vitality of plants they grow on, so I’ll keep a close eye on this issue now.
When I notice molds on plants we treasure, they’ll get a spray with a milk/carb soda solution.
I’ll use about 1:10 dilution of milk in water, and add about 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda to a liter and shake it well. This changes the pH to be less attractive to mold growth.
And remember to repeat after rain as it washes off.
There are rust spots on the older silver-beet leaves too. Our solution?
- Pull diseased leaves off and allow more air flow around the healthy new leaves.
- And feed the plants to keep them growing fast.
In a future post we’ll also look at pests and how we work around them.