A panic in the silverbeet bed

A bit of a panic in the silverbeet bed over at the allotments yesterday.

I get my daily dose of minerals and vitamins from this amazing vegetable.  I steam it and it’s so delicious I could just stand up at the stove with a fork and eat it out of the saucepan.   (But I don’t – and don’t you try that at home either!)

Anyway, back to the allotment. I found some plants attacked by this.

Nasty stuff on my silver beet

Nasty stuff on my silver beet

Fortunately I’m going to a seed-saving workshop given by Annette McFarlane over at New Farm library this morning and I’ll be showing her this photograph. She will be able to identify the problem and tell me how to deal with it.

I have mentioned Annette before, she is a  teacher, garden writer, author and has been a Gardening talkback presenter on ABC 612 radio for over 20 years where she answers peoples gardening problems. Well, today she will be meeting my problem personally and in glorious technicolour thanks to modern technology – the photo’s on my iPad.

I know this is the easy way out – I did start googling about my diseased leaf but it’s a bit like those medical programs on the tele. It’s really only for folk with a strong stomach. Try it, and don’t say I havn’t warned you.

Anyway, on a brighter note. I decided to harvest every decent sized leaf in the bed. Diseased were disposed of but I still ended up with a nice big, tightly packed, bucketful.

A lovely bucket of silverbeet with a smattering of curly kale

A lovely bucket of silverbeet with a smattering of curly kale

Despite the attack, the plants looked quite strong so I gave the bed some love and care. Just a few small weeds had popped up and I removed them to the compost bin. They will live again as lovely humus. Then I took advantage of our worm farm and gave them a good dousing with diluted worm juice. That will perk them up. Remember the mantra – healthy soil, healthy plants.

And just because I can, here are a couple of flower pics taken at the allotments.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums

The bees love this blossom

The bees love this blossom

Happy gardening.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barb
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 09:49:06

    A disturbing development that! I always like seeing the flowers at your allotment too, I’m going to start putting in calendula and alyssum etc to get the bees more interested. Hope you enjoy Annette’s talk.
    Barb

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 06:57:36

      Barb, I really enjoyed Annette’s talk. She is always so interesting and full of information. Lots of hands-on stuff and we all came away with seeds and cuttings. A lovely morning.

      Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 07:01:35

      Hi again Barb. Calendula, alyssum, sunflowers and cosmos are good. We plant them all over the community garden and amongst the allotments as part of our organic way of growing by attracting bees and good insects and hopefully confusing the nasties. We also have the native trees which the birds love.

      Reply

  2. Alison
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 15:50:36

    I just never get tired of photos of nasturtiums!

    Reply

  3. MrsYub
    Jul 20, 2013 @ 17:35:11

    I will be interested in finding out what the spots are, as they crop up on my plants every now and then, too.
    Your flowers are beautiful 🙂

    Reply

  4. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 00:31:13

    Ive just finally figured out (by looking at your photo) that what you call silverbeet is what we call chard. I’d been wondering. 🙂 Sorry to hear about the fungus. I hope it doesn’t affect your other plants.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 07:06:56

      Yes Heidi, it is called chard in some countries as you mentioned. There are ways I can control this fungus. We run the community farm on organic principles so I’ll be spraying with an organic spray and also giving the plants a good dose of seeweed product. The one I use here in Australia is called Seasol, but I’m sure there are plenty of similar products out there. The seaweed is a really good tonic for the plant.

      Reply

  5. narf77
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 03:44:20

    I had a decent case of powdery mildew this year on my silverbeet. Being the lazy so-and-so I am, I just left the bed of fluffy silverbeet to it’s own devices and suddenly they were covered in ladybirds! Little bright black and yellow fellows that turn out to be mould eating ladybirds! Did you know that there was such a thing? I didn’t! They cleared up the powdery and now the plants are fine again, thanks to the cold weather. Nothing like queensland warm balmy damp conditions to bring about fungal problems. I love silverbeet as well. Might be time to head up to the poor ignored veggie garden bed where the only things growing are roosters, silverbeet and English spinach :). LOVE the flower photos Jean! You are turning into a wonderful photographer 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 08:25:18

      I am so pleased that you like the photos Fran. I love wondering around the farm with my camera.
      Now that is a really interesting comment you made about the powdery mildew on the silverbeet. I didn’t know that about the mould eating ladybirds. Brilliant.
      I think our problem in Brisbane, especially during the summer weather, is the humidity and the heat. Fungal diseases abound then. I only have two x 8 square metres of allotment so space is at a premium, and if I want to eat, I have to give plenty of attention to each individual plant to keep them healthy. Even this old chook can manage that!

      Reply

      • narf77
        Jul 22, 2013 @ 15:57:06

        If you were REALLY an old chook Jean, you would have your fluffy bum up in my garden digging for worms ;). I hear you with the humidity and heat. That’s what caused my powdery mildew and I thought that we had the dreaded 40 spotted ladybirds but on researching them they were harmless and beneficial mould scoffers. You learn something every day if you keep your eyes (and sometimes you mind) open 🙂

      • Allotment adventures with Jean
        Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:36:49

        Fran, I did have my fluffy bum up in the air digging for worms today. I turned my little second allotment over with the BIG fork and there were lots of big juicy worms. I was thrilled of course as I believe it’s a sign of healthy soil. In fact after a day of digging I feel more like a spring chicken than an old chook. I love digging in the dirt.
        Isn’t it wonderful to have mould scoffers doing your job for you over at Serendipity farm.

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