hot weather and plants

Hot weather-and your precious plants

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Hot weather

Hot weather

I am writing this post because I am not sure that the large population of immigrant growers understand that the UK can be a very hot place. So this July (2012) is proving a point. Hot weather can be a disaster to all kind of plants. Especially if you are using some kind of back up heating for some hot weather plants. People growing inside their homes will be having particular problems in trying to keep the temperature down so the plants can grow and produce a good crop of flowers or fruit.

My citrus trees are lucky because in summer I place them out onto a pebbled area of my garden along with the pomegranate and fig trees. Of course these Mediterranean plants including my olives just love the heat. Importantly though , I still have the problems with watering. Too much or too little will cause a leaf drop. This leaf drop can happen on many types of plants. When the temperature gets too hot out of control then the plants will shed their leaves.

Commercial glass house have to be strictly controlled to avoid any disasters. Crops will also develop at a faster rate due to the plants trying to produce their crops at a quicker rate. A good example of this would be strawberries. Of course a sudden rise in temperature and sun shine will start to produce fruit more abundantly. For certain crops this can be a disaster. However strawberries can be sold off cheaper or used in other products avoiding massive losses tot the growers.

Electric fans can help cool down your plants.

My greenhouse has been no different in recent hot weeks. Spraying down the floor with cold water does help. Also good ventilation is a must. Keeping as many windows and doors open will probably lower the temperature enough for you plants to enjoy the good hot weather without stressing them out. So, in other similar year then I have had success and failures. Tomato plants do great in hot weather but many other salad crops can suffer.

Plants in the ground can soon dry up. Of course a good regime of composting can give you a better chance at retaining moisture in the soil. Surprising my hydroponic lettuces have gone to seed pretty quickly in this hot spell. I am not sure why this is and will investigate once I am over my knee replacement operation.

People growing in their homes are probably the ones with most problems. UK houses are not built to resist this realy hot weather. In my particular case the house faces the south. Up to lunchtime the house remains coolish. However as the afternoon progresses the house becomes very hot. Plants growing in lofts and bedrooms will soon Sercombe to the heat build up. Air-con units are an expensive option but most have a pipe which must be hung out of a door or window. Thus making it difficult for many people.

Electric fans can offer some comfort for the plants. Here at Hydrostore in West Yorkshire we offer a selection of fans that can be used short term. So, good luck with your heat management, its just a part of growing in our great country.


yellowing leaves iron deficiency

Yellowing Leaves

Home » Archives for July 2021

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing Leaves

So, here in the UK we are at last enjoying some warm sunny weather. Ironically, this is the time to keep your eyes open for the tell tale signs of your plants leaves “yellowing”. Change of climate and temperature is one of the things that can effect your plants and witnessing some of your plants leaves turning a shade of yellow. Importantly, the yellowing of leaves can be signs of many things. Common symptoms include such simple things as too much or too little nutrients, certain viruses, not enough light, the wrong ph for that particular plant, the incorrect watering regime and many more complicated systemic problems. Included in yellowing could also just mean that the plants life is coming to an end and this could be taken in to account.

Lets look at watering

So the technical term is “moisture stress”. Meaning the plants suffering from yellowing leaves are most likely to be the victims of over or under watering. This was always a problem for me when growing in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Ventilation, is a must but there is always times when they do get over heated. Overheating, causes the pots to dry out and therefore puts the plants under stress. Quick response can save the day! However if you are away for a couple for days then you are in trouble. Not only do weak plants attract more pests but they will also start the dreaded yellowing process.

Of course watering will help your plants pick back up but the damage is already done. Weak plants will be the end outcome. Usually with smaller fruit or smaller flowers. In the past I have tried a few things including drippers. However I think that the “Autopot” system and a good sized plastic water tank is the answer. Another yellowing of the leaves can be caused by over watering. This probably applies more on house plants where the plant carer tends to over do things. I have a friend who always lovingly kills every plant that she buys. Accordingly, she waters the plants far too much and eventually the plants turn yellow and eventually die.

Hydrostore-Yellowing Leaves-Where did the yellow begin to show

So, the keen plant grower could determine where the yellow started to effect their plants. Firstly, if the yellow appears at the top of your plant then the problem could be an “Iron Deficiency”. Secondly, if the yellow starts at the bottom leaves of the plant then it could be “Magnesium Deficiency”. Lastly, if the plant appears to be yellowing all over at the same time then it could be a “Nitrogen Deficiency”

So, a good idea is to check out the plants ph level. Of course this is more important with some plants more than others. However it would be well worth checking. Especially if you are have other problems such a slow growth. Many plants require ph that is in the neutral range, but some require more acid. Such plants include the “Azalea” family, requiring a very high ph acid soil. Importantly ph can be adjusted using certain hydroponic products such as “Vitalink Products” .

Another related thing to watch out for is for the grower of certain plants. Hence, if you are in the middle of flowering then it could be wise to make sure you have the correct magnesium levels in your water tank.

To emphasise, the ph levels are important factors when checking the levels. Both in hydroponics and in soil growing methods. The incorrect ph levels will cause slow growth with low yields of flowers or fruit.

Finally , I hope this post gives plant growers some insight into this sometimes common problem. So, yellowing leaves are just a small part that we gardeners and plant growers should be aware of. Also there are treatments at your local hydroponics store.

rain water-tap water

Tap or Rain Water

Tap or Rain Water

Tap or Rain Water

So in my mind, this is a no-brainer. However, collecting rainwater can be difficult for many people. The internet is awash with companies selling water collection tanks. Coincidentally, I’m looking at a good product from a Lincolnshire company, “Enduramaxx” for yet another storage tank. This will be my third plastic tank!

There are also various connectors for connecting your guttering downpipe to a water tank. However, I do understand the ease of being able to just turn on your tap and water the plants. Importantly, rain water and tap water are very different in content. So, in most places, tap water will not harm your precious plants. However, rainwater is good for your plants and better than tap water.

Of course, one of the major components of chlorophyll is nitrogen. This is the green colour in plants that soak up the sunlight and use its energy to produce sugars from carbon dioxide and water. So, most gardeners and growers know this as “photosynthesis.” This is the basis for sustaining most plants’ life processes. Plants’ leaves will turn yellow if they lack nitrogen, as I mentioned in my previous post. So, eventually, wither up and die!

6 good reasons to use rainwater in your garden

There are several good reasons to use rainwater in your garden:

  1. Rainwater is free and readily available, especially in areas with high rainfall.
  2. Rainwater is naturally soft, which means it is less likely to leave behind mineral deposits that can build up over time in soil, pots, and containers.
  3. Rainwater is generally high in oxygen, which can help plants grow healthier and more vigorously.
  4. Using rainwater helps to conserve drinking water, which is especially important in areas with drought conditions or water shortages.
  5. Rainwater is more environmentally friendly than using tap water, as it does not require energy to be pumped and treated.
  6. Using rainwater can save you money on your water bill, as you will be using a free, naturally occurring resource instead of relying on your municipal water supply.

Unfortunately, our water treatment plants take out as much nitrate as possible.

Because high levels of nitrate can be dangerous to young children. Plants cannot access nitrogen directly, relying on “nitrogen fixation.” where nitrogen in the air is converted to “ammonia” and related compounds found in the soil.

Importantly, nitrogen fixation is carried out by microorganisms found in the soil. Accordingly, the root hairs of a plant is invaded by nitrogen fixing bacteria’s. So, stimulating the formation of root nodules. Inside the nodules then bacteria converts free nitrogen into ammonia aiding the host plant for its development.

Astonishingly, the lightning that we see in a regular thunderstorm can generate nitrogen compounds. These mix with the water and oxygen in our atmosphere. The relating rain that falls contains high levels of ammonium and nitrates. So, thunderstorms are of great benefit for outdoor plants or for collecting the water for watering at another time. Of course, not only watering but also topping up the plant with nitrogen are important.

Rain water the best long time option

Rainwater is different depending on where we live. When I’m travelling, I can tell the difference between different bodies of water. In fact, locally, I can tell the difference between my local tap water and the water at my Halifax business. The latter is the most delicious! This will also apply to plants. Tap water differs in acidity, and once again, a ph. test is well worth carrying out on your relative soil. Generally, though, tap water will be on the alkaline side. Of course, this is on the high side for many plant species.

In recent years, we have had TV ads advising us to save our dirty water for the garden! Thus saving our clean tap water. This is known as grey water! So, usually containing detergents and soap. This mix has an even higher ph, elevating it up to a 9 or 10 score on the ph. scale.

On the other hand, as the rainwater falls to earth, the water droplets absorb carbon dioxide. Rain also collects certain minerals on its way down to earth. As a result, the water has a slightly acidic ph. The acid rain finally reaches our gardens’ soil and aids in the release of micronutrients. including zinc, iron, and copper. important for the plant’s development and, therefore, good growth.

In my research and opinion, it is the collected rainfall that comes first. benefitting the plants with absorbed nitrogen and minerals. However, there are times when I have to use tap water, but in general, I save rainwater in water butts.

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