13th November 2009 at 4:55 pm #21044
Pest is a relative term, many insects and animals are beneficial.
Successful gardening comes from understanding the possible problems in your soil, locality and for each different plant, then sowing/growing accordingly.
When pest problems occur, look on it as a learning opportunity and garden accordingly next year. Simple to say and vexing too, but pests really do have something to tell us.
One major source of pest problems is weak or badly treated soil. I find that well composted, undug soil has the potential to grow vigorous, healthy crops that are able to resist many pests. Sowing at the right season is another major factor. So don’t be disheartened if you have problems initially.28th November 2009 at 10:50 am #22222
I have grown brassicas successfully this year by using Enviromesh to keep the butterflies off the crops. However this only proved to be partially effective against whitefly which infested all my brassicas. Brussels, Purple Sprouting, Savoys and Kale were absolutely covered. I think a weekly spray of incecticidal soap may have worked – does anyone have a solution for this problem?31st March 2010 at 7:54 am #22223
If you mean the grey mealy aphid that collects in clusters in the growing tips of cabbage, kale sprout plants etc.,I find that a strong blast from a hose is all that is needed -do this once or twice thoroughly and the problem generally goes away. Also very effective on young shoots of roses etc. at this time of year. Doing this means that blue tits and other small birds can then pick them up from the ground without coming to any harm. I don’t like using any sprays at all as they will damage other life. Putting bird feeders near your veg patch will attract many birds who will hang around and pick off pests too. Get nature working with you – it will, if you let it.1st April 2010 at 4:36 am #22224
Spraying with a strong jet of water sounds fun (do you think a water pistol would work for those with allotments without hoses?) but I would worry about blasting the tops off my brassicas with over enthusiastic spraying! Sadly I am unable to encourage the aid of small birds in this because I have to net my brassicas to protect them from pigeons and deer.
Perhaps one could encourage spiders? Presumably they would love to eat mealy aphid. Are there any other natural predators that could be persuaded to join in?
When gardening under the nets, to squash slugs or tidy up leaves, I always think the whitefly makes the plants look haunted, the puff of powder and small flies when the plants are disturbed is slightly sinister, so spider webs would certainly add to this effect!
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