Angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia spp.) is highly toxic to dogs. The toxic principles are tropane alkaloids including atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine. Tropane alkaloids are secondary metabolites mostly found in the Solanaceae family which have powerful powerful anticholinergic agents.
Hippeastrum is toxic to dogs, the toxic principles are phenanthridine alkaloids including lycorine and tazzetine which have emetic properties. Exposure to small amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, hypersalivation, and diarrhea while large ingestions may cause tremors, depression and cardiac arrhythmias.
Solarisation is a broad-spectrum, chemical-free technique used to kill weeds, weed seeds and pathogens (fungi, bacteria, plant parasite nematodes, mites) utilising solar energy and clear plastic sheeting to trap heat in the upper soil layers. Studies have found several fungal pathogens have been almost completely eradicated using solarisation including Fusarium spp., Phytophthora spp., Pythium spp., Sclerotium spp.
Also known as late blight, tomato blight is a highly contagious and destructive disease caused by Phytophthora infestans, a fungus-like organism (Oomycete) within the Kingdom of protists. Affected plants include potatoes, tomatoes and to a lesser extent eggplant and petunias. Tomato blight was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine in the 1800s which killed 1 million people and is one of the most significant plant diseases, with a worldwide economic cost of US $5 billion annually.
There are three types of blight in tomatoes. Septoria leaf spot, early blight and late blight. This article refers specifically to late blight.
Growing at the wrong time of year could be fatal to sensitive seedlings, so mother nature ensures they don’t grow until the right conditions are met. Some seeds need a period of darkness before they emerge, while other seedlings need light to germinate. Seeds contain enough food in order to feed the embryonic plant during germination. Once the newly emerged seedling reaches the light, photosynthesis takes over.
As a rule, small seeds need light to germinate as the seed doesn’t contain enough nutrients to sustain the emerging seedling long. Therefore, it is critical that the seedling reaches a light source as soon as it emerges from the shell.
When sowing seeds on the surface, ensure the soil is already moist and press lightly to prevent the seeds from being blown away.
Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis) is highly toxic to dogs, the toxic principles are cardiac glycosides, (primarily convallarin and convallamarin) and saponins. Cardiac glycosides plant steroids that affect the heart, and saponins are steroid or triterpene glycosides that cause gastrointestinal upset. All parts of lily of the valley including the leaves, flowers, berries, stems and bulbs are toxic.
What is borage?
Borago officinalis is an upright annual herbaceous plant native to the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa, it is widely cultivated for its medicinal and edible properties. The name ‘Borago’ comes from medieval Latin, which means ‘short wool’, relating to the stems covered in fine hairs.
Seeds require the right conditions or they will fail to germinate. Germination is triggered by soil temperature, soil depth, moisture and some seeds require stratification which is a period of chilling prior to sowing. This table is a quick and easy guide to sowing flower seeds.
Some seeds require sunlight to germinate, which has been listed as ‘surface’. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface, but gently push them down so that they don’t disperse in the wind. When sowing seeds that require a light covering of soil, add some soil or potting mix to an old kitchen sieve and gently sprinkle over the seeds.
I haven’t included sowing time in this article because this will vary depending on your location. Some seedlings are frost tender, and should only be planted once the risk of frost has passed. For those of us in warmer climates such as Australia, we can sow seeds much earlier.
There are a number of factors that trigger seeds to germinate just at the right time to enhance their survival. All seeds need moisture and oxygen to germinate, and the preferred soil temperature varies from plant to plant. In addition, some seeds need cold stratification, scarification, darkness or light. If these factors are not in place, germination will not occur, or if it does, it will be lower than expected.
Seeds are in a dormant state until the right conditions occur which triggers the end of dormancy. There are a number of critical factors that determine when a seed will germinate including moisture, oxygen and the right soil temperature. Some seeds also require a period of cold, known as cold stratification. This mimics the normal … Read more