Sep 30, 2010
I have to congratulate myself on such a beautiful vegetable garden. This year most everything (except my celery) is growing abundantly and I think that has much to do with this blog in so much that it forces me to do just a little bit of work in the garden each month. The key jobs that seem to have made a real difference is regular feeding with Living Earth Liquid Compost (by regular I mean once every 6 weeks) and regular harvesting of the vegetables.
I am now aware that in the coming months there will be a little bit more work to be done. Pests are now going to be more active (we will talk about that a little further down) and there is going to need to be some watering from about November onwards through the summer months. However lets start with some jobs.
Make sure that you have most of what you want to plant for Summer in by the 1st of November. I like to plant Labour Weekend which is 23rd, 24th and 24th October. I use this date because my nana always did and as far as I am concerned she is pretty on to it. I am planning to plant tomatoes, corgettes, cucumber, pumpkins and capsicums (although depending on how warm it is I may start my capsicums inside) Everything else has already been planted earlier, (lettuce, spinach, cabbage, beans, strawberries, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, and celery which I am going to rip out)
I always feel the biggest sense of loss when I am watching my beautiful garden flourish, only to walk out one morning and find that it has been all but destroyed in the matter of one night by garden pests. The main culprits in my garden seem to be slugs and snails, aphids and mildew sorts of infections. I am not opposed to using chemicals and sprays myself, but I know that many people are, so I am going to list all of the options that I have researched below. I just want to point out that I am going to start myself with the organic options and see where that takes me. If I find that this is not working I will probably go the chemical way, but as always I will keep you posted as to what is happening.
To Stop Snails and Slugs:
BEER and VINEGAR
A shallow lid full of Beer is said to attract the slugs and snails. They then drown in the fluid and you just dispose of the the dead pests every few days. Apparently you can use vinegar just as effectively.
Snails and slugs do not like crawling over the sharp shells so crush up your egg shells into an ice-cream container or such and when you have enough spread these around your vulnerable plants and keep replenishing as often as you can. At the same time the calcium in the egg shells is excellent for the plants as well. (This is a great job for the kids, the crushing of the egg shells is fun and equally spreading them around the plants)
Border the whole garden bed with at least a cm width of sand. Raise the sand a bit so it is like a little mound. Alternatively ring the vulnerable plants with the sand. Snails and slugs are unlikely to craw over the sand as they don't like the texture.
To stop Aphids, White Fly, Mites and Caterpillars.
- Pour boiling water over crushed rhubard leaves. Then leave this mixture to soak for 3 days.
- Strain and add a good squirt of detergent and dilute this concentrate enough so that it looks like weak tea.
- Spray over pest infected plants. Repeat every 10 days.
To Stop Mildew and Mould Growth
Spray full cream milk over plants that are beginning to show signs of any mildew, mould or fungus. Watch specifically your pumpkins, corgettes, peas and cucumbers. Repeat every week or so.
Alternatively there are lots of chemical based products on the market that are very effective, snail and slug pallets and spray for a host of different pests. So good luck finding what suits you!