Thursday, 19 April 2012

Vanishing Onions and Other Worries...

You may remember we gave winter onions, shallots and garlic a try for the first time this year, planting at the start of November with the hope of a bigger harvest with less white rot come midsummer. I bought a pack from Marshalls containing Yellow Moon shallots, Provence Wight garlic and Radar onions, sprinkled a bit of onion fertiliser before I planted, and it all seemed to go very well to start with.

About a month ago, after several weeks away from the plot, I noticed a lot of the onions had disappeared. Almost all of them in fact, despite the garlic and the shallots doing really well right behind them.

Where could they have gone?? There was no sign of slug activity, and no sign of them having been pulled out by birds (this is common when they're still very small, but you usually find the onions lying around on the ground).

It's a mystery, but Wilkinsons came to the rescue, as they often do. I picked up a bag of 'Turbo' onion sets for £1.48 yesterday and filled in the (rather large) gaps. They said plant out March-April, and hopefully the name is an indication of how fast they grow!

The just-sprouting broad beans are having pest problems at the moment too; I thought I had mastered this last year, but something has got in and cut down the new plants despite a web of string all around them!

Is this pigeons, mice, or something else? I'd always thought pigeons, but now I'm not so sure. Mind you, some of the strings making up the cage had moved a bit in the rain and wind, making some bigger-than-usual holes, so maybe a pigeon still managed to get in... It's particularly frustrating because I don't have any spare seeds. Doh!

Finally, I wonder if anyone out there can tell me what's wrong with these tomato leaves:

Little patches between the veins have thinned, leaving silvery-brown papery bits that look the same on both sides. I've seen sunburn through water droplets do this, but these plants are kept in the plastic greenhouse (during the daytime - indoors at night) and I've been quite careful to keep the leaves dry. My other guess is magnesium deficiency, but I'm not really sure... Answers on a postcard if you have any ideas!


Sue Garrett said...

The broad beans almost look to have rotted off at soil level. We have never had pigeon problems with our unprotected beans.

As for the tomatoes it looks like a leaf miner problem to me - try Googling Serpentine Leaf Miners in tomato leaf.

Nome said...

I suppose it could be cutworms that got the beans, but I looked and couldn't find any, and we've never had any cutworm problems with brassicas on the plot.

Thanks for the leaf miner tip but I don't think it's them.

The Schoolhouse Farmers said...

Hello- I was wondering if you found out what was wrong with the tomato leaves. We have the same thing going on with our tomatoes.

Unknown said...

Yall ever figure this out?
Im guessing its cucumber mosaic virus or fungus.

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