Trial by allotment

I went up to my plot yesterday morning, did a bit of weeding and thinned my autumn raspberries. On the way out of the fruit cage, heading home for lunch, I noticed a branch on one of my gooseberries was almost bare of leaves. It could only mean sawfly, so I set to squashing them. Half an hour I spent, carefully seeking them all out and dispatching them using the totally organic finger and thumb method.

After my lunch, I went back to plant a few salad bits and pieces. Thought I’d give the gooseberries a quick going over in case I’d missed any. We’re talking of about six quite young bushes here. I counted them this time, 95. Unbelievable.

Today I went again, main item on the agenda to plant out my sprouts. That accomplished I went back to the gooseberries and squashed another 211.

Gooseberry-sawfly

Gooseberry sawfly caterpillar.

The planting of my salad leaves yesterday hadn’t gone entirely to plan; I’d dug through into a mole tunnel halfway along the row. I get mole hills aplenty in the grass paths around the plot but never any within it. Obviously they are there though, munching their way through my worms. I set a trap. By today I hadn’t caught anything.

Mole-trap

Spinach, Lettuce and mole trap.

A couple of days earlier I’d squashed a couple of flea beetles on my newly planted out mizuna. At least I didn’t find any more of them.

Flea-Beetle

Flea beetle damage on mizuna

My blackcurrants produced a prodigious crop last year. When I pruned them the fruiting shoots had produced very little new growth and I removed almost all of them completely, some to a strong side shoot. This year I have far fewer trusses, with less berries on each. On the other hand, I’ve got a couple more bushes fruiting now, having shoved a few prunings in the ground when I first planted the older bushes.

There were a few shoot tips with curled up leaves which shouted out that there were aphids within. There were, there are no longer. I didn’t spray them either, in case you’re wondering. If I can keep the numbers low, they will get parasitized naturally and disappear.

Aphids-2

Curled up leaves on blackcurrant means aphids. Squash them.

 

Aphids

Aphids on blackcurrant means curled up leaves.

 

My other plot has young camellia bushes on it, a temporary arrangement that is gradually morphing into something more permanent. I put mypex down between the rows, which has provide a perfect habitat for voles who are showing their gratitude by gnawing through the bark of the camellias. I either remove the mypex and deal with the resultant vegetation, or deal with the voles.

It does seem an uphill struggle at times, this growing malarkey.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s