I’m hoping someone can help identify a weed troubling a reader. I’m stumped! And the people at Envii are dipping their toe into the horror film business with a short about slugs and snails.
Josephine Bretherton from the North West of England has a mystery maroon weed growing on her allotment amongst the potatoes. It’s about 15 inches high now. Nobody knows what it is and she wonders if it is edible.
My guess is that it might be a self seeded brassica, perhaps a red cabbage that has crossed with something, judging from its looks. Anyway – if you recognise this mystery maroon weed, please pop your answer in the comments box below.
Slugs & Snails the Movie!
Back in January I posted about the government’s forthcoming ban of metaldehyde slug pellets. Happily there are alternatives available to gardeners so we can keep on top of these pests.
As I also wrote in that post, not all the slug controls on the market are effective. The RHS undertook a study of five popular organic home slug control methods and found them to not be effective.
Copper tape, horticultural grit, pine bark mulch, wool pellets and egg shells were all shown to make no difference when applied to lettuce, with gastropods inflicting the same damage to those treated with the remedies as without.
Well the people at Envii make an organic slug control method called Feed & Fortify that uses diatomaceous earth to naturally protect plants from slugs, snails and other small pests. It also contains iron silicates to improve soil fertility and maximise plant growth.
They decided to replicate the RHS study on the slug barriers and also put their Feed & Fortify to the test. The video answers the ‘fortify’ question (spoiler alert!) it works.
The feed part of the name – the Iron Silicates – might benefit from a little explanation.
Iron for Plants
Iron is an important micro-nutrient for plants. A sort of plant vitamin. They only need a very small amount, but that small amount is crucial to healthy growth. Iron is utilised in the production of chlorophyll which is the engine that converts carbon dioxide to carbon and oxygen and feeds the plant as well as giving it the green colour.
A lack of iron will show itself as yellowing on the leaves and a sickly plant.
Silicon is a common element that aids plant growth and quality, photosynthesis, transpiration and enhances plant resistance to stresses such as drought. (see this article from Greenhouse Management) Plants grown in commercial potting composts – patio pots, hanging baskets etc. – are most likely to be in need of supplemental silicon.
And now, our main feature! Kia-Ora will be available in the interval.