HAVE been growing scarlet runners for quite a few years, but about
three years ago they started dying from the ground up. The leaves
turn yellow then fall off. This happened rapidly over about two
weeks and the beans were misshapen. Last year I planted them in
a new garden and had a good result with no problems, but this year
the problem has come back again.
Also, what conditions
do radishes require? I have been growing them in a pot and I get
a lot of foliage but just a long thin underdeveloped root.
are several things that could be happening to your beans, including
virus, bean fly, collar rot and root rot. Check the soil where you
plant them is free-draining and make sure you don't have mulch or
compost piled up against the stems.
Bean fly larvae can bore
into the stems of young beans, causing them to become brittle and
may eventually lead to the death of the plant. Spray every 7-10
days with a product such as Mavrik or pyrethrum when the plants
are young, but stop once beans start forming.
If a plant does start
to look yellow, cut into the stem - if the inside appears brown
or discoloured, the problem may be the virus sometimes called "summer
death" which can be spread by leaf hoppers who've fed on infected
weeds nearby. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do to control
the virus, apart from pulling the plant out immediately to reduce
the chance of it spreading to the others.
Some gardeners claim
scarlet runners grow best in areas with relatively cool summers,
so how about next year you try growing the variety 'Shiny Fardenlosa'
which is more tolerant of hot conditions - its beans are just as
It sounds like your
radishes are putting everything into leaf growth and nothing into
storage roots. They probably will eventually produce edible roots
but may be bitter by then. Radishes grow best in garden soil, which
is generally cooler than potting mix in a container and where the
availability of nutrients is limited somewhat by the effect of clay.
If you want to continue growing them in pots, try placing them in
a relatively cool place and cut down on the fertiliser. You could
do this by using old potting mix and only liquid feeding a little
if the leaves look hungry or mixing some good topsoil in with the
Gardener, Issue 168, 2005, Page 24
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.