Archive | 12:18 pm

My banana / beans experiment

19 Feb

Beans and snow peas planted around my dwarf banana

I recently planted a dwarf Cavendish banana in the north-east corner of the yard. I planted it in soil broken down from my bokashi bucket, which should be full of nitrogen and organic matter. Since planting it we have had a huge number of really hot and humid February days, and the banana is loving it. It is putting out a new leaf every 3-5 days, and looking very very healthy.

Being the amateur gardener that I am, I slavishly follow things I read in books and on the web. I read that bananas like nitrogen. I also read that legumes capture nitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil. This lead me to think – why don’t I plant beans under my banana? So I did.

I have planted dwarf bush beans at the front and sides of the tree, and a row of climbing snow peas around the back, which I’ll train up some wire that I plan to mount along the back fence. I was worried that the seeds would rot in the ground before they germinated because the banana needs so much water, but the germination rate has been amazing. My experiment so far is a success.

Treating root rot in citrus

19 Feb

Root rot in my kaffir lime tree

Today I uprooted the very sad looking kaffir lime tree and inspected the roots more thoroughly. I definitely have a case of root rot on my hands. You can see that the roots are wet and soggy, and the brown sheath on the roots rub off very easily with my fingers.

I have read that root rot can be treated with a 20% bleach solution, so that’s what I did. I made up a bucket of 20% household bleach, and sat the tree in it for a couple of minutes.

lime roots sitting in a 20% bleach solution

Lime roots sitting in a 20% bleach solution

I then re-potted the lime into the same soil, but in a terracotta pot rather than the grow bag that it has been in. I then flushed the new pot and soil with the bleach solution by pouring the whole bucket over the new potted tree in soil. I now need to leave it until the soil dries out – and must not water until the top 2 inches of the soil is dry. I suspect that it may be too late for my poor little tree, but we’ll see how it goes.

Re-potted kaffir lime

I am keeping a close eye on my other trees, because I have obviously been overwatering them too. I unpotted one of my apple trees today, but the roots of that look OK. More of a concern is the reaction to the foliar feed of iron chelates that I sprayed the other day. I think that is what caused the black blemishes on the young leaves of my mandarin, and my mulberry has blemishes too, and it has dropped a bunch of the immature mulberries. Tragedy. I don’t know what I was thinking by spraying the mulberry with the iron. It was clearly only the citrus that needed it.


**Update** My Kaffir lime eventually died – I think it was just too late by the time I treated it. I’ve been treating root rot lately by using Phosphorous acid (in the form of Yates Anti-rot). It can be used as a preventative treatment too.