Identify problems 3 includes squash, bolting, large roots, compost, by Charles Dowding

Jeremie LitzlerAbout 2 minGardeningCharles DowdingNo DigCompostDiseasesMildew

Gardening is full of conflicting advice. So who should you believe. You might see a problem in a garden, is it really? Let’s dive into it with Charles.

A view from the air of a large squash patch in a garden
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

Thanks to Charles Dowding for sharing his wisdom and knowledge! I wrote the following notes watching the video published on Charles Dowding’s channel. You can watch it using this YouTube linkopen in new window.


Courgettes with lower leaves covered with mildew
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

Charles shares that in his experience, it isn’t the end of the world.

It’s more a sequence of events where the plants are losing their older leaves.

Close up on courgettes leaves covered with mildew
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

Leaves can turn yellow all summer and it’s possible it isn’t a problem.

For example, the uchiki kuri squash won’t do well in a soil with a little bit of gravel.

Plants know how much they produce

It will happen, and I have indeed experienced this in the past, that you will see many fruits on a squash plant appearing, and some will grow to maturation and some will root in the early stage.

That’s fine and you shouldn’t worry much about it.

Growing squash on a compost heap doesn’t deplete the nutrients

Remember: compost is about biological activation of what is already in the soil.

Compost doesn’t burn the roots

It isn’t true.

It’s true when the compost heap itself is still very hot.

A hot compost means the early decomposition process is still going on and the plant won’t find enough goodness to grow well.

Root vegetables lessons

It has been said so often that big root vegetables go woody.

2 beetroots in the ground
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

It’s absolutely not true.

Maybe, if it tastes woody, it’s more to do with a poor soil?

Interesting fact

When you cut open a fresh beetroot, you should see some rings, one for every moon cycle.

Sowing Swiss chard shouldn’t happen too early to avoid bolting. Charles suggests for his location to sow charts in April.

The cause of charts bolting is the cold exposure if sown too early.

Also, regarding seedlings, don’t hold them for too long because their quality will decrease.

What yellow leaves tell us

It’s indicating a low nitrogen level.

Chicory in modules, with small and yellowish plants beside strong green plants
Credits: image taken from Charles Dowding’s vlog

Don’t blame yourself, learn from experience

Sometimes, a plant won’t grow for some reason.

Blaming yourself is then counterproductive. Observe instead and find out why the plant didn’t grow.

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Contributors: Jeremie Litzler