Gardener’s Diary: Two special requests answered

Given to me are two recipes that I have been asked for over the years.

  • Jul. 10, 2018 12:15 p.m.

Given to me are two recipes that I have been asked for over the years.

Treatment for Powdery Mildew on roses: Mix about 1/2 tsp of baking soda in a one-litre spray bottle of water and spray the affected plant. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and spray off the plant with water. This works well if caught early before there is too much mildew. Sometimes more than one treatment is necessary.

I have seen Fairy Rings growing in a front lawn years ago. Nothing was done about it (didn’t have a recipe at the time) and every year it grew wider and wider. Since it had started in the centre of the lawn, I figured that it would grow out of it once it reached the perimeter of the lawn. For you that don’t want to wait and see here is the recipe from Stan Thompson (the garden guy on CHED radio).

Fairy Rings recipe: Mix five gallons warm water, two cups of Ivory liquid soap and 1 cup horticultural oil (or dormant oil). Procedure: Drill six to eight inch (15-20cm) deep holes in the fairy ring area approximately two inches five cm) apart. With a watering can, put the mixture in holes. Store any excess not used for future use. Repeat procedure when necessary. You can “half” or “quarter” this mix if you only have a small fairy ring. You can get the oil at any major garden centre. If you can’t drill holes, use a pointed stick, a spike or anything appropriate you may have around the house.

I was asked: When do I harvest my garlic bulbs? For the softneck garlic, in one of my books, it says to do it when the tops fall over and die, let them dry in the sun for a few days and cure them in an airy place in the shade, as you would onions. Store them in mesh bags or braid the tops.

For the hardneck garlic, the green leaves start to die from the bottom up. When the three or four leaves from the bottom are dead and the top is still green, it is time to harvest. The hardneck varieties produce scapes that are harvested around the middle of June. After the scapes are cut off, the plant puts its energy in growing the bulb and harvest is around 30 days later.

The following is taken from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Hardneck varieties grow one ring of cloves around a stem, there is not a layer of cloves as there is in softneck varieties. They are extremely cold-hardy but do not store as well or long as other varieties. Flavour is milder than softnecks. These varieties produce tiny bulblets at the end of a tall flowering stalk in addition to a fat underground bulb of cloves.

Softneck varieties, like their name suggests, have necks that stay soft after harvest, and therefore are the types that you see braided. Especially recommended for those in warmer climes, as it is less winter-hardy than other types. Strong, intense flavour. They tend to grow bigger bulbs because energy is not being diverted to top-set bulblets like hardnecks.

I grow garlic every year and some years I have very nice bulbs and other times if I wait too long I have bulbs that break easy. I freeze most of all my garlic so I don’t pay much attention for storing.

This is also a good site for more advice

For more information 250-558-4556,

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