I recently submitted an article to AVSA for the magazine based on a new set of symptoms I’ve been experiencing with some of my plants. As most of you know, we moved back to Illinois last fall from Arkansas, two zones warmer. True, the environment is different here, as well as the water I’ve been using on the plants, but otherwise nothing has changed. I am still using the same soil, same fertilizers and same management techniques.
Although I’ve tried to break down my issue(s) and come to a few logical theories, I’m sure there will be other ideas on what I can do. You’ll have to wait for the article to come out to get all the details, but I will tell you that my symptoms are cultural/environmental related. Oh, the joys of moving! Needless to say, I plan on having my pH tested very soon, and I’m working on warming the plant room more consistently.
The main point I wanted to make in the article is a little more complex. When I first began growing, I read a lot of books. In many of them, there are lists of symptoms and their corresponding causes and “fixes.” What we sometimes forget though, is that when we combine more than one cause, we can often get confusing symptoms that don’t fit the exact mold of what we thought we were dealing with. This confusion either causes growers to give up - or dig deeper, as I did.
As we enter March, I am hoping for a speedy end to winter. What do you do in the winter to protect your violets from drafts or chilly temperatures? What about the water you use? Do you store it in a warmer location? Food for thought!