I have taken the Iron Man Challenge

When I told Cruella (my wife) that I was Iron Man her only comment was that I was old, stupid, already had a bad knee and perhaps I should change my name to Rusty Man. Nevertheless she proposed adding Wheatbran to my daily porridge in the hope of increasing my stamina. I must admit she was a little disappointed when I pointed out that I was the gardeners equivalent of Iron Man which involved nothing more strenuous than adding Iron supplement to sickly plants.

21st August: Things I have been doing lately.

🏋️‍♀️ Adding Iron to supplement plants. In the current drought you might have noticed that some of your plants are taking on a “yellowy” hue. Now yellowy hues in plants are difficult to diagnosis. Sometimes it means you are over watering, sometimes it means you are under watering or it could just be a Daffodil. But sometimes it means you plant has a condition called “chlorosis”. The effect of chlorosis is that the leaves on your plant will start to turn yellowish and the veins in the leaves will begin to become pronounced. This means that the plant is not photosynthesising well because it lacks iron. The photos below show one of my Agaves which is in a pot and is turning yellow and also a bamboo that is similarly afflicted.

The answer to this problem is an iron supplement watered in or scattered around the base of the plant, this helps the plant to photosynthesis more efficiently. These supplements can be bought at most good garden centres. The photo below shows the supplement that I use. I mix this with water to eventually form a mixture that is the same colour as Rosé wine. This is then poured into a watering can and the base of the plant soaked. You probably only need to do this once each Summer.

Cruella (my wife) got excited as she thought it was blood

🌴 Cutting Palm fronds. Regular readers of this blog will know that I constantly advise to cut Palms regularly and often. Once Palm fronds are hanging below an angle of 90 degrees in parallel with the ground then they start to toughen up and eventually take on the consistency of iron (iron again, I want to be known as Iron Man). This makes it extremely difficult to cut them and can end up blunting even the sharpest of saws.

Well that’s the theory. Unfortunately, just this once I forgot about my twin Palm trees and only remembered to look up and check the tree when it was too late. From the photo below you can see that a number of the fronds has already turned brown and were like iron. This necessitated my getting a ladder out and proceeding to hack at the fronds; something that should have taken minutes ended up taking almost an hour. The worst part was that Cruella (my wife) offered to hold the bottom of the ladder whilst I was at the top. She does this sort of thing on a regular basis, but only after checking my life insurance policy. To distract her I told her I had seen some children in our wild wood and she ran off cackling hoping to catch one (she has a special net).

And so it begins

🍂 Adding leaves to my compost. I can only assume that everyone followed my advice last Autumn and raked all the dead leaves up and placed them in bags for later. The reason for this is that leaves cannot be added to compost at first, but must go through their own composting process before eventually being added to your compost heap. Well, now is the time. I have 5 green sacks full of leaves that have been happily composting away in the shade beside my compost bins. I will now add these to my compost bins in layers over the next couple of months. Although the leaves are not fully composted down the rest of the process will take place in the bin.

The photo below shows the first sack of leaves tipped into the bin and ready for the big compost. When Cruella (my wife) saw this she thought I had summoned a leaf man from the nether world.

It lives!!!

Author: spanishgarden

I live in both Spain and the UK and am a very keen gardener. I garden every day and enjoy sharing all the secrets that God allows us to discover in our gardens.

4 thoughts on “I have taken the Iron Man Challenge”

      1. Okay, so they must be Washingtonia robusta. The only other species is Washingtonia filifera, California fan palm. Hybrids are not available, but probably weren’t commonly available when yours were young.


      2. I meant to say that hybrids are ‘now’ available. California fan palm, which is also known as desert fan palm, it the only species of palm that is native to California. It is like yours, but shorter and stouter. It is my all time favorite palm, but does not do well here. It likes cooler winters and warmer summers. In more severe climates, it is very stately.


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