Gardening | Love The Garden


You may have a disease called damping off which causes seedling to collapse or fail to emerge. Low temperatures and light levels together with high humidity and poor ventilation worsen the situation. Sow seeds thinly to avoid overcrowding, do not saturate the compost when watering, increase air movement and if possible raise the temperature a few degrees. 

The white fungus that you mentioned is saprophytic.  These spores are in the air waiting for the right conditions to germinate; unfortunately these are the same conditions that are created to grow young plants.  Although it maybe considered aesthetically unappealing, this type of fungi will only feed on dead organic matter and will not affect living plants.  

The little round “eggs” are in fact slow release fertiliser granules, the shell is a natural resin which “leaks” nutrients when weather conditions are suitable for plant growth i.e. warm and moist. In adverse conditions cold and wet or hot and dry no feed is released as most plants are not growing.

It will cover 10sqm at 5mm deep.

It will cover 1⅓sqm at 5cm deep.

The best way is to use a pH soil testing kit. If the results show your soil is naturally acidic then rhododendrons, azaleas, camellia and the like will thrive. If it’s neutral then you can still plant away, but feed with a special plant food that’s been formulated for acid-loving plants such as Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Ericaceous Plant Food. If you’ve got alkaline soil then your best bet is to plant the rhododendrons in a container filled with a suitable ericaceous compost – try Miracle-Gro Azalea, Camellia & Rhododendron Enriched Compost - and then feed with an ericaceous plant food throughout the Summer.

Garden soil doesn’t hold as much water as a good potting compost and so you will have to water more often or your plants will suffer. Soil also lacks essential nutrients and so plant growth will be slower. Garden soil may also harbour pests and diseases.

You can certainly re-use them, but it’s best to tip out all of the old compost and then wash the containers thoroughly with warm soapy water, followed by a good rinse with a solution of cold water and a garden detergent. It’s important to do this because your existing compost may be harbouring vine weevil larvae and other garden nasties. It’s far better therefore to have a spring clean and thus minimise the risk of pests and diseases infesting or infecting your new displays.