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Author Topic: Greenhouse disaster  (Read 3818 times)

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Greenhouse disaster
« on: July 04, 2015, 03:07:30 pm »
I;ve mentioned before that for soem reason one side of my ghouse had very poor/stunted plant growth ths year .. to the point that i lifted the plants, washed their roots, dug out some compostand replaced it. It partially worked.. about a third of the plants came back but i resowed toms and peppers which are just gettng to bedding out size.
HOWEVER I've just been doing a clean-up and pulling the lettuce thats finished n the other side and noticed the sheer scale of woodlice numbers..not that i mind woodlice.. but also scattered throughout the soil are tiny green mites which i dont recognise. And the final straw i now see moderate numbers of whitefly starting. I've neer had success dealing with them - sprays seem inneffective, those yellow stickies never work in practicale terms in a  large ghouse (22x12) and parasitic wasps fly away if you have any ventilation (nor are they cheap)
In the past (london) i just stopped growing stuff whitefly like but that'd be a shame here.

unless anyone has wondeful suggestions I'm half tempted to empty the house completely..rip it all out, dig out the compost to clay, scrub the lot in jeyes and leave it until next year and use fresh compost. Depressing.
Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 04:13:41 pm »
Ah sounds like you've reached the point of soil sickness.  I'm dreading that in my polytunnel.  It could be that the total clear-out and change the soil approach is upon you.  Or would it be possible to move the whole greenhouse onto fresh soil.
All the bugs you mention apart from the woodlice, should succumb to organic insecticidal soap spray, if you soak them every day with it, and you could use a soil steriliser for crawlies within the soil :garden:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

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Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2015, 07:03:24 pm »
Could it be a draught someplace getting to the plants?  :cold:
It sounds like that it could be the issue to me.
Apart from that:
-Every year I would top up with fresh compost.
-General hygiene is very important - wash pots, trays etc with Jeyes and I'm with FW on the horti soap or indeed the fumigant candles.
-Also where possible wash the walls of greenhouses and tunnels, joins at doors etc.
-Remove all dead plant material too.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2015, 07:26:36 pm »
Moving the GH not an option.. on a  ring beam foundation and two course bricks to which the ally frame is bolted. It gets it's annual clearout end of season and sprayed down with jeyes then left over winter. I did top up with several bags compost at beginning of this season.
Draughts won't be the cause.. if anything the end with the side louvres has the best growth. Ridge heght is some 11-12 feet so the roof openers won't be responsible either.

At first i wondered if I'd got a couple of dud bags compost in the order; hence the swap out and root wash. Now I'm thinking more in terms of soil pests/infection and secondary whitefly.

I failed to control last years whitefly with twice daily soap rinses/sprays until i tossed the aubergines and peppers.. but that was right at end of season and they'd about finished cropping

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2015, 08:22:07 am »
Decision

After mulling this over I've decided o my next moves...The few heathy planst in the GH I shall leave for the moment. The soil there has been very dry with just watering at plant bases. I shall change that to keeping the whole beds wet and increasig humidity but leaving the duble doors open for chickens and wildlife access so they can help deal with pests albeit they'll kick the soil about etc. We'll accept any damage and cope..then dig it all out come autumn. Next year or two I'll use tubs and growbags.

Meanwhile the sturdy replacements seedlings will get transplanted to bags or tubs and go into the citrus house..it's empty right now while the citrus enjoys the summer and that house gets it#s deep clean (due anyway). It'll be a shorter season 'cos the citrus has to go back early october unless it's an indian summer... but thsi way i'll get some sort of partial crop. the cost of growbags over bought-in compost in beds isn;t that much more and although it makes growing radish and baby leaves awkward they can go in large tubs which wil even be beneficial on those really hot days when they can get pulled out. It also means that if I get another whitefly strike nest year then the plants prone to that culd get pulled out (perhaps) and grown on outside the house to keep levels down........

princesslayer

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Tadley, Hants
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2015, 10:00:55 pm »
I accidently let the chickens in the greenhouse the other day and they ravaged my melons...
Keeper of Jacob sheep, several hens, Michael the Cockerel and some small children.

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2015, 12:48:04 am »
PGKEVET.
 
Why not get a spray on soil sterilizer such as a formaldehyde based one and  use if on the ground as per the instructions.
Fumigate the tunnel after the safety period with a sulphur candle as per instructions.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2015, 07:55:34 am »
PGKEVET.
 
Why not get a spray on soil sterilizer such as a formaldehyde based one and  use if on the ground as per the instructions.
Fumigate the tunnel after the safety period with a sulphur candle as per instructions.

I hadn't considered fumigation etc 'cos I'm totally convinced the problems are just biological..as opposed to something more fundamentally wrong in the compost - as in a contaminant of some sort. Not that I'm too happy about formaldehyde with an ally frame glasshouse!

Mind you it does remind me/take me back to the early 70's when we had a bad outbreak of respiratory disease in a clinic's kennels...cleared all the patients out and I decided to fumigate the whole building by spraying and sprinkling  boiling formaldehyde on all surfaces. the fumes built up so fast I had to hold my breath for a new personal best to finish and get out! Way before we had respirators.

Citrus house got deep cleaned yesterday... starting with removal of a wasps nest! Then swept, jet washed, rinsed in jeyes and hosed down. Once it's concrete floor is dry I'll do a  final sweep and move stuff. It was due a cleanup anyway while the citrus enjoys the summer.


Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2015, 11:21:06 am »
I accidently let the chickens in the greenhouse the other day and they ravaged my melons...
:roflanim: :roflanim: :roflanim: There is so much i'd like to say about this  :roflanim: :roflanim:
Don’t Monkey With Another Monkey’s Monkey

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2015, 03:44:51 pm »
pgkevet,
 The white fly problem is a big kick in the butt,  for they spread all manner of diseases as they sap suck from plant to plant .

That's where the sulphur fumigation helps , some of the deterrent sticks on the surfaces of  everything for a long time , not enough to harm humans once the dispersal period is over but plenty enough to snuff out white  flies & their eggs .
 Two years ago I used Jeyes fluid & a drop of fairy liquid as the concrete floor scrub for my glasshouse.. over both winters the floor grew a green skin of crud that produced 10 mm dia bubbles of some sort of gas .

 This March after drying out the place I used a strong solution of cheap sodium hypochlorite bleach and a couple of drops of dish drops to coarse spray all the internal glass & ally frame , as well as putting a couple of buckets of it on the now dried & swept concrete floor ..
After returning to it a day later rewetting it with more solution and giving it a good rub in  I hosed it off . Once the floor had drained off via the floor drain I gave the floor another spray of clean bleached water.
So far there is not a trace of anything growing on the damp floor ( I have auto misting & sprinklers to each pots /tub  ) nor do I have any great number of pests attacking my capsicums ,aubergines , tomatoes or potted seedlings such as peas lettuce, herbs , brassicas etc.
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2015, 07:51:33 pm »
I'll bear suphur that in mind for the winter clean but since leaving the good plants there for the moment it's not appropriate right now.

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2015, 05:46:17 pm »
Bought soem grow bags.. brushed the floor again for final debris and then brushed a bucket of bleach ove rit. That was when i noticed that the wasps were trying to rebuild their nest. Their queen and most contemporaries are dead but despite the jeyes rinse i assume there's still pheromones..or just location?

I scraped off their rebuild and sprayed with a residual insecticide around the area. I'll rpobbaly wait a day or two before setting up the growbags to see if that's solved it..

On a positive note had the first mange tout picking today

clydesdaleclopper

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Greenhouse disaster
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2015, 08:02:27 pm »
One issue that you can get with digging out the existing compost is that you lose all of the mycorrhizal fungi in the soil which help your plants to grow. Personally I would remineralise with something like Rockdust, add Biochar to give the fungi somewhere to live and put on a deep mulch to help with water retention. Plants grown in a well mineralised soil suffer from far fewer pests and diseases.
Our holding has Anglo Nubian and British Toggenburg goats, Gotland sheep, Franconian Geese, Blue Swedish ducks, a whole load of mongrel hens and two semi-feral children.

 

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