LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE
|Nets on brassicas|
|Cuckoo spit on Lavander|
|Carrot fly on parsnips|
|Rosy leaf curling plum aphid|
We still have a few chemicals left that are considered safe, but are constantly reviewed and in danger of being banned. Slugs and snails have always been a real nuisance in the garden, but in the past we had slug pellets with metaldehyde at 3% strength. This has now been reduced to 1% and slugs go sick for a few days then return as hungry as ever. Carrot fly has no chemical solution, so
netting has to be used on carrot and parsnip rows.
|First pink fruit is time to spray for maggot|
Greenfly have now become a major pest on numerous crops made worse by mild winters so all the over wintering eggs survive. Some chemicals used for roses will give some control, but on a small scale you can revert to the messy business of squashing them with fingers. Fingers are also used for control of the frog hopper hiding in the cuckoo spit.
Rose mildew, rust and black spot can be sprayed with some chemicals, but rose breeders are now concentrating on breeding disease resistance into new varieties. Breeding resistance is also used with brassicas to eliminate clubroot fungus as well as peach leaf curl on outdoor peaches.
Netting has now become an essential task to protect plants from cabbage white butterfly, pigeons and other birds. Blackbirds just love strawberries, blueberries and saskatoons. New varieties of strawberries are now mostly resistant to botrytis fungus so no need for
spraying. However raspberries still need two sprays to
control the fruit maggot which will infest the fruit.
|Slug damage on hosta|
Phytophthora fungus is the latest serious disease that has scientists and breeders working hard to bring out plants with resistance. Different strains of this disease affect raspberries, potatoes as well as many trees including larch plantations. Fifty years ago it was the elm trees that got just about wiped out with Dutch elm disease but now we have Ash die back and sudden oak death affecting our trees. The battle never ends.
Leeks that were sown outdoors at the beginning of March have now made good growth and are ready to transplant into their final rows. This year I am sowing two old but reliable favourites, Lyon and Musselburgh. The young seedlings are now about ten inches tall. Lift carefully then sort out the biggest and discard the weakest. The chosen ones are topped and tailed then dibble deep holes into a three inch deep furrow and drop the plants into the holes. Run a watering can along the holes to bed in the transplants then after a few days straiten them up and wait for them to grow.END