Welcome to my website about growing ornamental plants organically. Few gardens work well without flowering plants, and in an organic garden where insect activity is encouraged, they are vital. My flowering plants bring pleasure by filling the air with wonderful fragrances and stimulate the senses with their beauty............................................John Ashworth 26th December 2015.
Latest Update 10th October 2016.
Geraniums are actually Pelargoniums, but what's in a name. These
extremely hardy small shrubs flower continuously all year with beautiful
clusters of flowers in a wide range of colours.
To keep them
in good shape, they need to be trimmed back every few months, and to
keep them flowering, just break of the spent flower stems.
I like to
replace my Geraniums with new plants every year. They are very easy to
propagate from cuttings and strike very quickly and reliably in an
Ecopropagator. However, they will live on happily for a number of years if
they are kept well trimmed.
above shows a vibrant rich pink geranium growing under the protective canopy of my olive tree.
mixed with water, Bacillus thuringiensis becomes a potent (organically
certified) killer of butterfly caterpillars. It is sprayed onto the
plants leaves, and when ingested, kills them by
releasing toxins into their gut. They stop feeding and die within a few
I use aerated compost tea
as a foliar spray on all my ornamental plants. I don't claim this is as
effective as the bacillus, but after one year using this spray, I seem
to have less pests of any kind on my plants.
just rub them out when I find them with my fingers, but if there are
lots of them, I remove them with a jet of tap water. They seem unable
to regain their place on the buds and shoots of my Geraniums and (I guess)
starve to death where they land.
I spray my Geraniums with aerated compost tea
every month, and I am sure this increases the plants resistance to
aphids, but I still get some on the new shoots in between sprays.
monthly foliar spray of aerated compost tea was a spectacular success
last year with no sign of powdery mildew on any of my plants.
solution of 1 part cows milk to 9 parts water makes a reasonably
effective organic pesticide against powdery mildew. However, it needs
to be applied early before this fungi gets well established, and
frequently to keep it in check.
foliar sprays of aerated compost tea boost the natural defences of
Geraniums by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
These microbes defend the plant against airborne pests and diseases.
proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made
compost and aerated compost extract boost the community of beneficial
microbes, which defend the plants roots against plant pathogens.