Garden Diary: July – A Mixed Bag of Garden Challenges

My Six on Saturday this week is a roundup of garden challenges. I am now officially at war with the blackbird who thinks he reigns supreme over my vegetable garden. After several attempts to grow lettuce from seed, I finally managed to persuade some to germinate and the seedlings moved to my large lettuce pot. They were growing well and we almost had enough baby leaves for a salad. That was until I forgot to put the plastic cage over the pot. The next day I returned to find the blackbird pecking away at the soil and every baby lettuce dug up and tossed over the side of the pot.

1. Aloe Vera

I am trying to identify this mystery virus that attacks my aloe vera plants. Any ideas?

Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera
Black marks on Aloe Vera leaves
black marks on aloe vera leaves


Aloe Vera - black and brown spots
Aloe Vera – black and brown spots


At least i now know why they were such a pale colour – I was overwatering!

I removed all infected leaves and sprayed with roseclear anti viral solution. No, I am not going to ingest the leaves.

Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?

2. Lichen

Lichen, I am told, is meant to be good. I disagree. Any branch the lichen attaches itself to dies. It is almost a full-time job trying to remove it.

Lichen on olive tree branches
Lichen on olive tree branches


lichen on melaleuca
lichen on melaleuca

3. White mold or mealybugs?



white mold
white mold

4. Killing My Plants with Love – Overwatering


Overwatered petunias - brown
Overwatered petunias – brown
Overwatered pumpkin
Overwatered pumpkin


5. White Spots on Courgette Leaves

White spots on the leaves is a constant challenge to control due to the high humidity. I usually spray the leaves with milk. I am not convinced it works.

White spots on courgette leaves
White spots on courgette leaves

6. Gazanias Morph into Birds’ Nests!

Every summer I swear I will dig up the Gazanias as they resemble birds nests in summer and are a lot of work to maintain. But come winter and I am rewarded with so many beautiful flowers I relent. This is another job to add to this week’s To Do list

Gazania plants morph into birds' nests
Gazania plants morph into birds’ nests


Gazania bird's nest
Gazania bird’s nest
Gazanias resemble birds' nests
Gazanias resemble birds’ nests

That’s the round-up for this week.

Please don’t forget to check out other Six on Saturday bloggers.

24 thoughts on “Garden Diary: July – A Mixed Bag of Garden Challenges

Add yours

  1. Glad not just me that has unhelpful blackbirds and gardening disasters. My challenges this year are black fly on the beans, and tomato plants that have refused to grow.


    1. So far the blackfly have not found my veg…. yet 🙂 Just my Queen of Night cacti and Hisbiscus. I’ve given up on tomato plants now. They grew okay because I fed them but … my anxiety levels over blight are not worth the energy.


  2. Oh dear, the things we gardeners have to contend with. I have noticed a lot of plants this year have powdery mildew possibly due to the constant sunshine and showery weather we have been having. Also overcrowding!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We have had a lot of sea mist recently which means the plants are constantly damp and hot. since taking that photo most of the leaves have a problm and then when I looked underneath the leaves there was more and the leaves were beginning to die. I removed most of the leaves in the hope the last remaining courgettes will grow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This may be a lame question, but are the pumpkins in pots that are shaded by bags, or are they only in bags? If the bags are exposed to sunlight, they get uncomfortably warm for the roots within. (That is no problem if the bags are used to shade pots.) Since the vines are so sparsely foliated, they do not shade the bags.


  3. I had the same problem with pumpkins grown in the soil bags. Maybe the bags just keep the soil damp all the time, and it never dried out? Like it sweats in there? Lichen can be pretty, but I’ve seen, a few hours from home, tree after tree that’s mostly just lichen, it’s horrible to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. the pumpkins were an experiment … you are right about the bags sweating. I even covered the bags with rocks to protect from the sun, but the roots were not drying out. NEver mind, we tried.

      the lichen is not good news. 😦


    1. Hi Fred, I thought I’d cracked the overwatering issue with my humidade tester… but of course in pots and grow bags the soil dries out more quickly on the top while the bottom of the bags an pots are wet.
      Re Aloes, i will move them into the shade. thanks for the advice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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