Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another stormy weekend

Saturday May 31st

The weekend has started with yet another huge thunderstorm which started around 9-00am. The sky went black, the house shook with terrific claps of thunder as I stood at the window watching the rain approach. Lesser violent storms continued on and off throughout the day but I did manage to get out and inspect the trees

The young Fuji apple continues to grow. Last year it was quite slow progress but this year has seen it more than make up for it.

The peach has definately improved since I wire staked it back to almost vertical, the branches now hang more evenly and the tree has an all round better shape. I was going to prune this year but decided to leave it alone after the damage it sustained at the beginning of the year.

Its first crop of fruit has suprised me both in quantity and quality. Although the fruit is still small I have hopes of some harvest this year if the bugs dont beat me to it.

Here's another harvest that surprised me even more. Around the middle of last week I noticed that a couple of the potato plants were getting seriously chomped by some thing. I thought it was the dreaded Carrot Beetle at first and started to dig around the base of the infected plants to see. What I did find was these, and quite a few of them too so I snitched a couple out from under the plant. I also noticed a whole lot of Woodlice or Pill Bugs as they are sometimes known.

I consulted my gardening guru Dawn and she confirmed they they were probably the problem.

Here you can see leaf damage, not too bad but bad enough.

But there were literally thousands of them hiding in the warm, damp straw mulch and chewing through the plant stalks.
Luckily, Dawn had the organic, garden friendly solution................

Slug repellant with Iron Phosphate as the active ingredient. I had to make sure that there was no Mataldahyde in it which is a poison. The Iron Phosphate based product actually helps the soil so it's a win-win situation.
A trip to Lowe's organic gardening section came up with This

I cleared away all the straw mulch and spread the repellant and that evening the Woodlice population had reduced by an unbelievable amount. When it does eventually stop raining I'll go out and have another check on the progress.


DP Nguyen said...

It's been really rainy in Tennessee too.. and windy.

Your peaches look very good! I hope they ripen and you get a chance to enjoy at least one... I know how the birds are when they see fruit trees. lol.

I'm sorry to hear about your bug problems. That's really unfortunate. Glad to hear that your friend Dawn knows what she's doing!!!

Mick said...

Hi dp

Bugs are a big problem here. After being lashed with rain for weeks on end the temperatures soar and out comes every flying crawling, biting, munching, egg laying insect in the area. I dont mind SOME insects sharing my crop but when you get hit with thousands all at once it becomes a bit disheartening. I could use chemicals against them but that goes against my principles so I try to go to battle as organically as I can.

Thanks for calling in.

plantgirl said...

Wow that's great you found something organic that works - my biggest garden "bug" is my 2 year old who loves to help me lol
~plantgirl of
Plantgirl's Square Foot Garden Blog

Mick said...

Hi Plantgirl

Subsequent checks show that the woodlice are GONE!
I've sprinkled some on the other plots and also on the flower beds as Jan reckons they are eating her flowers too.

I must remember this for next year.

Thanks for calling in.