Diary {#internal-source-marker_0.9641078147451961 dir=”ltr”}

  • about 10th July 2010 - gave blueberry Sulphate of Ammonia.  Results: no large changes.  Possibly the leaves at the top of the plant became a little more healthy
  • 29th July 2010
    • blueberry: 1 sachet of sequestrene plant tonic (10% MgO plu Iron and Manganese) in ~3l of water
    • rasberry: 1 sachet of sequestrene plant tonic in ~3l of water
    • grape vine: 1 sachet of sequestrene plant tonic in ~3l of water & a chopped up banana skin

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House plants {#house-plants dir=”ltr”}

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Monstera plants - in the study {#monstera-plants—in-the-study dir=”ltr”}

  • also known as monstera deleciosa, swiss cheese plant, and split-leaved philodendron
  • Monstera deleciosa is a native of the jungles of Central America.  In its native surroundings, the plant attaches itself to the trunk and branches of a tree with the aerial roots that the stems are furnished with and climbs high into the forest canopy where there is more light available.
  • As vining houseplants, they can easily and quickly reach 8 feet tall with leaves 3 feet long and 2 feet wide.
  • repot every 3 years, completely replace the soil
  • likes indirect light
  • In early spring (March or April), fertilize your monstera with a general houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended rate.
  • Continue to fertilize at half the recommended rate every three or four weeks until early fall (September or October).  From spring to early fall, if the plant is healthy and growing in ideal conditions, feed every 2 – 4 weeks with a liquid fertilizer that has been diluted to ½ strength.
  • Do not feed during the winter or if the plant is in poor health. You can cut back the plant in spring if you want to maintain a particular size, although trying to keep it small (or reasonably-sized) is seldom possible.
  • Keep your monstera plant moist but not waterlogged from spring to fall. In winter allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry out before watering again. Over-watering will lead to yellowing of leaves and under-watering will lead to dry, brown leaf tips and margins. (Bear in mind that these symptoms can be caused by other things as well.
  • Once a month, gently wipe your monstera plant’s leaves, top and bottom, with a moist cloth to remove dust. (some guides say spray the leaves to keep them moist).  Remember to be very gentle; over-cleaning can remove important cells and prove more damaging than beneficial. Regular grooming will keep the leaves shiny, help the plant breathe better and aid in keeping pests at bay.
  • Prune the top and sides of your monstera plant if it becomes too large for the space it is in. By cutting between aerial roots, you can make more monstera plants. Just pot the cutting in a 50/50 mix of potting soil and perlite or vermiculite. Care for the cuttings as you would the adult plant.
  • Humidity does not necessarily seem to be a factor (the plant tolerates dry air well) but reasonable levels between 40 – 50 percent are preferable to the rock-bottom ones of 20 - 30 that can occur in the midst of winter while the heating system is working overtime. The plant will handle temperatures between 15ºC (59ºF) – 24ºC (75ºF) easily and will most likely endure slightly cooler levels for a short period, although I would not expose it to temperatures below 13ºC (55ºF)
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http://www.ehow.com/how_5180973_care-monstera-plant.html

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Outdoors {#outdoors dir=”ltr”}

Grape Vine {#grape-vine dir=”ltr”}

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Yellowing leaves {#yellowing-leaves dir=”ltr”}

  • Magnesium (or possibly potassium) defficiency.  Apply soluble fertiliser with appropriate micronutrients. (source)
  • Nitrogen or Sulphur deficiency (source)
  • Overwatering (source)
  • Potassium deficiency (add in chopped banana skins) (source)
  • Yellowing usually reflects a lack of iron or copper, sort of vegetative anemia (source)
  • Mg is the only element that is part of chlorophyll so it is very important for photosynthesis. A lack of Mg normally occurs on the older leaves first and is normally visible during of near coloring of the clusters. The symptom of an Mg shortage is the yellowing of the leaves between the nervures on white varieties and red coloring on red varieties.The lack of Mg normally occurs on sandy soils with potassium layers in the subsoil. An overdose of potassium can cause Mg absorption to stop and the symptoms will look like an Mg shortage, but in the meanwhile, there is a K overdose. A well-balanced Mg / K ratio is therefore important. (source)
  • A photo of magnesium deficiency in grapes: {width=”100px;” height=”135px;”}
  • “Acute magnesium deficiency is easily recognises in grapes. The interveinal areas bleach, only the veins themselves remaining like fingers of whitish yellow [white wine varieties] or red[ red wine varieties] leaf surface. The lower leaves are affected first and frequently fall early.” (source)
  • MgO can be applied

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Lengthy article explaining what nutrients vines like.  Summary:  “Do not pay to much attention to the fertilization of a grape vine, as it needs not much. Keeping the optimum levels of N, P, K, & Mg, Mn and Zn, can be obtained with a well-balanced fertilizer and is normally enough for the home grape grower. Over fertilizing is a much bigger problem than under-fertilizing and if you vine grows too vigorous, cut back on that fertilizer a bit. Remember a too vigorous growing vine can lead to unfruitfulness, especially with cultivars like Sultana and Crimson.”\ \ Good table of nutrient deficiencies

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Blueberries {#blueberries dir=”ltr”}

Apparently sulphate of ammonia can be used to acidify soil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonium_sulfate\ \ “Blueberries require a soil pH between 4.2 and 5.0”\ \ “If the soil pH is below 5.0, use ammonium nitrate, but use ammonium sulfate for more acid forming effect if the pH is above 5.0”\ \ recommendations for acidifying soil:

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  • People also recommend peat moss (sphagnum) which can acidify the soil by taking up cations or suphur powder
  • “I’ve been working our blueberry bed soil for years with sulphur, ammonium sulphate, and Ironite, and its all I can do to keep it below 6.”
  • “Making soil acidic for blueberries” forum post
    • peat moss (sphagnum) - definitely acidic, aparently
    • finished compost
    • sulphur powder (flowers)
    • finely ground phosphate rock
    • fine greensand
    • sawdust mulch
    • pine needles
    • pine bark
    • “ if the pH rises to around 6.0, I apply a light layer of sulfur powder. Then I re-test the soil in that spot after about 10 days, to make sure the pH is below 5.5.”
    • coffee grounds and tea leaves
    • a danger with ammonium sulphate is that you’ll over fertilise, better to use sulphur powder
    • “Remember that blueberries rely on mychrozoae on their roots to absorb nutrients, let the soil dry out and the mychrozoae will die. But don’t keep them soggy either. Perfect drainage is key. Blues were originaly a bog plant, but not one that grew in the water, rather above it with soil that was constantly wicking water up and therefore always damp but never soggy.”

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measured pH of various substances {#measured-ph-of-various-substances dir=”ltr”}

  • used coffee grounds = 5.0