At the beginning of July I wrote about my concerns with several days of very mild and damp weather that favours the growth of fungi. My main worry was rust fungus on our garlic, onions and leeks. Did this mean we should expect a bad season for the fungus powdery mildew on our newly planted courgette plants? Powdery mildew on the leaves of courgettes is a perennial problem and I have not yet managed to tie down the years when it’s likely to be worse, or find a prevention. As fungi like damp conditions, then I think with the mild weather we are having, a warning sign should be put up “Beware of Fungi”. Anyway this year I set up an experiment to see if powdery mildew could be controlled and I’m reporting what happened in this blog post. Continue reading
A mixed bag of things to talk about. An article about my eBook A Wet Look At Climate Change, a fungus called rust, and what we did with a glut of runner beans and courgettes. Continue reading
I suppose our garden has to feature a lot in my moisture topics at this time of the year. Everything’s growing quickly. We already have to deal with a glut of courgettes, runner beans and dwarf beans. Yesterday we had runner beans in a pasta dish for lunch AND runner beans as one of our vegetables in our evening meal! Another bit of vegetation that is growing very well just now is the lawn. Not all of it is growing well though, but that’s my fault.…….. Continue reading
I am getting a bit worried about the current weather. Staying with a gardening theme and fungi, we are having the type of weather that these microbes love. Days of showers and not enough sunshine to dry the ground. On top of that, the night time temperatures are sitting around about 11 to 13 centigrade. Very mild, damp and favourable for certain types of fungi. In my last post on this blog I talked about the fungi responsible for “damping off” by attacking young plants. This time my focus is on another troublesome fungi that attacks both mature and young plants, the dreaded “Mildew”.……..
I got an email from Susannah who had picked up on my garden theme in my last post on this blog. Susannah’s got a problem with damping off in seedlings. She has just lost three young cucumbers and asked if I had any advice. Damping off is a fungal infection of plants, usually seedlings but can affect more mature plants also. I too had recently had a problem after repotting a supermarket bought basil plant. Within a couple of days in its new pot, almost the entire surface of the compost around the base of the basil was white with fungal mycelium. After a few more days most of the stems of the basil were covered in fungus and turning black… Continue reading
Just had a delivery of a load of chippings.
When driving home last week I passed a neighbour’s garden and saw Fergal’s van “Tree Care” outside. Somewhere above me I could hear the sound of a chain saw. Knowing that Fergal would not hear his mobile, or really want to be talking on his phone when hanging off a tree, I sent him a text. He texted back about half an hour later to say that he’d be around all week and would drop off a load of chippings. On Saturday I saw a van pulling out of our driveway and thought it was just turning, or had come into the wrong driveway. It wasn’t until the van straightened along the road that I saw it was Fergal and give him a thumbs up. But his delivery of chippings was over two weeks after his text back…… Continue reading
Two years ago this week (11th Feb 2014) I wrote an article on the extreme weather in the UK causing the worst floods “in living memory”. A commentator in the media made a point about the rain being in the wrong place at the wrong time. What he meant was, if the same amount of rain had steadily fallen in the mountains and filled the reservoirs, that would have helped with the managed water supply. Instead we saw flash flooding affecting built up areas and causing immense, and such painful, grief for lots of people.
Out of my own interest in rainfall I put my local rainfall data for Nov, Dec and Jan for the years 2009 – 2014 onto a chart. It showed the Total rainfall in each month fluctuated as expected but there was no dramatic increase in the overall volume that fell. I have just done another chart showing the monthly and total rainfall to include the past three months and the story is now different.… Continue reading
A few years ago when researching the world of moisture for ideas to include in my book A Wet Look At Climate Change I came across a paper published in the Journal of Insect Physiology talking about honey bees and humidity. I filed this away as “interesting” but didn’t think about it much further. Last year just before spring I got interested in bees again. Nothing to do with moisture this time, just a liking for bees buzzing around the garden. It may have been something on Twitter, but one thing led to another, and I found myself contacting the National Biodiversity Data Centre in Waterford. However, as always with me, moisture had to come into the story at some point…. Continue reading
Wild, wild weather!
Heinz alphabet spaghetti, a distant memory from my youth and something that just popped into mind when watching yesterday’s wild, wild weather.
Strange connection to make between these two you may think? Not in my brain!
To give you a clue, what’s the connection between Desmond, Abigail, Clodagh, Frank, Eva and Barney? Continue reading
Autumn a Great Time of Year
Autumn is great time of year for change. There are changes pleasing to the eye as the plants show their autumn colours and the not so pleasing changeable weather when there is a storm sitting off the west coast of Ireland. Wetter weather at this time is expected but this year we had not only a very dry spell but quite cold conditions that got us thinking of turning on the central heating one month early. Continue reading