What to do with dying swan plants

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jacqui 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #56214

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    I started out this season with hundreds of swan plants being grown for the “bumper crop” of caterpillars I planned to take to the NZ Flower and Garden Show.

    The monarchs never came and laid eggs. I scraped together a few caterpillars (thanks to those who donated same) and those plants with caterpillars on went to the show.

    So, in December I had hundreds of plants in pots, all congregated together on my concrete drive. Stupid! Too many of one thing means that anything that attacks them will have a field day. So the aphids did. A few ladybirds came, the Aphidius colemanii didn’t ever get on top of the aphid problem. Sooty mould set in and the plants, the strongest plants, started dropping like flies.

    I thought I’d leave everything until I came back from my trip and now, what to do? Most of the plants will go into the compost (?) but I don’t want to waste the soil, otherwise good potting mix and compost. If it is a bacteria, or virus that they have, how can I reuse the soil?

    All thoughts welcome.

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  • #56219

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Great stuff Leslie – I had almost decided to do something similar. I’m wrapping the potting mix up in a plastic tarp adn leaving it in the sun. Hopefully the heat will kill any bugs. Then I’ll add my compost to it before using it again.

    Thanks again.

    #56217

    LeslieD
    Participant

    http://tipnut.com/sterilize-soil/

    might be more stuff to find online too.

    #56216

    LeslieD
    Participant

    perhaps use the mix in a contained garden to grow something else? … hot steam should kill bacteria and viruses but be difficult unless you have the gear. I seem to recall there is a product that sterilizes soil too but can’t remember what it is .. i’ll go google :). But growing a totally different crop might work without any effort especially if you do have a contained garden area already.

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