Well, another sunny week, but still below freezing at night, so we’re on the starting blocks, ready to go, as the weather warms up (at night) hopefully next week. But still lots to do anyway.
I will be using my nematodes today (Sunday) for both vine weevil and gooseberry sawfly. These are shown in photo 1. These are completely organic, the nematodes just burrow into the larvae, don’t poison it, so great for wildlife. You just dissolve them in water, and then water the ground around the plants. I have already used the slug nematodes.
As greenhouses and cold frames have had their windows and doors closed more than expected due to the freezing night temperatures, I have noticed a few whitefly and greenfly. As I try to be as organic as possible, and don’t use pesticides or chemicals, I find the following recipe really easy. I take 2 garlic cloves, mash them up (I use a hammer), then put them in water to infuse for a couple of hours. I then spray this garlic water directly onto the greenfly/whitefly, and that kills them organically. Something about breaking down viscosity from the sap and pest emissions, but I don’t really understand it – but it works.
If we have more cold weather over the summer, and have to keep our greenhouse doors closed a lot, this may limit the amount of pollinating insects that can get into the greenhouse. I am already seeing flowers on some of my tomato plants. So in case that happens, another tip. Tomatoes are indeed pollinated by bees/wasps etc. But not by taking pollen from one part of the plant to the other, it is simply by the buzzing sound and vibration, which releases the pollen onto the ovary, within the same flower. So if there aren’t enough pollinating insects about, simply get an electric toothbrush, and put it on the tomato flower, and that will do the same job. Simple.
I have been checking my overwintering broadbeans (variety called Aquadulce), and they have lots of flowers (see photo 2). Finally, I need your help in identifying a tree in my garden, with very attractive flowers (photo 3). I believe it is some type of prunus, but does anyone know exactly what it is?
Finally finally, Margaret Hobson has very kindly offered to hold the Greenfingers Plant Fayre at her house on Saturday 24th July, so please mark that date in your diaries, and tell all your friends/neighbours/relatives. Also, Margaret will need lots of help beforehand, on the day, and clearing up afterwards, so please try to help wherever you can. And please sow seeds, take cuttings or otherwise propagate as many plants as possible, all proceeds will go to charity.
Happy Gardening!