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.
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.
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.
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.
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.