Posts Tagged gooseberries

Mirror mirror on the wall

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Who’s the prettiest chicken of them all?

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Yes yet again we have gooseberry sawfly.

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We have some natural defenders – Piri Piri has stepped up to the challenge!

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Took a walk with Sam today to see the bluebells.

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And to play chase chase (Sam’s current favourite game) and play pooh sticks in the stream.  I won. Sam didn’t seem bothered.

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Weeding

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This is about as close as cats come to helping with the weeding. Unfortunately our garden suffers with bindweed something cronic, so the few beds we’ve dug are quite infested.

On a positive note the gooseberries which looked like they’d died after the move have picked up and the first few leaves have started to appear.

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Similarly the grape which promptly died has also started to exhibit signs of life and new growth has started to appear.

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We’d got bored of looking at our IBCs in the centre of the garden so they’re now in their final resting place – except they still need a layer of hardcore under them!

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Gooseberry Sawfly

Gooseberry crop

Last year I lost almost all my crop to gooseberry saw fly.  Unknowingly, it also did for our red current bush which couldn’t take the strain and pretty much dropped dead.

Whilst late in the season (probably due to the cold weather) they are now making an appearance.

The gooseberry saw fly looks like a wasp.  The eggs hatch out late April early May and can devistate a plant almost overnight (in my experience).  If you see small holes appearing in the leaves, it’s the most likely culprit – squash (or feed to birds) any caterpillars or eggs you find.  At the end of the season disturb the soil around the roots so that birds can get in and eat the eggs.

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Fishy!

Last night I finally got down the allotment and was finally joined by my nearest and dearest.   It’s surprising how much longer the days lasts (yes I know the clocks have gone back) but seeing as during my first proper week down the allotment I was arriving at 5pm and finishing at 6pm when it got too dark, I’m surprised that already the day is lasting half an hour longer as I arrived at 5 and we weren’t packing up until it got particularly cold at 7:30 (and it was still light too!)

I decided that it was time I moved the water butt and discovered what lurked beneath.  Some time ago one of my neighbours gave me a few goldfish to put in the bottom.  I’m sad to say that over the winter I’d paid little attention to them and the water was worse than a bit murky.  However as I got down to the bottom where it was really quite silty, one gold goldfish and three still immature goldfish were lurking (that’s how many were originally in there!)

I was surprised at how much effort was required to move the water butt.  It’s now in a fairly shady location beside the shed rather than 1/3 of the way across the plot.  The main reason for moving it was for the shade for the fish, however the other issue was that I had to run a 16ft bit of drainpipe over the compost heap to get to it.  It did look fantastically madcap, but it was in a particularly silly location and looks much better now and is also ensuring our shed doesn’t blow over.

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Talking of which, the next DIY job is to re-roof the shed.  The winds haven’t done it any good at all and the roof felt has started to come off.

The fish have been temporarily relocated into the pond whilst the water butt settles into its new location and the fresh water from the tap looses its chlorine.  The pond is supposed to be for wildlife and I know what happens when you get frogs spawn in a pond with fish.  I’ll have four fat fish and not a lot of spawn.

I’ve also discovered the first asparagus shoot and planted out the earlies.  It’s a bit late, but what the hell eh?

Whilst I was digging away planting out potatoes my better half was weeding the strawberries and swearing each time she pulled up a strawberry plant that had dug itself into our path.

I finished off by back filling the old pond (not the one with the fish in, the one with the horrible stagnant water) and tidying up the compost heap.

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It also looks like my other neighbours have acquired our incinerator (even though they have their own) because it was smoking away, on their plot.  Did have a moment of panic when I noticed it had gone, but I borrow their wheelbarrow enough without asking!

Spring has definitely sprung – not only are the daffs out, but I’ve also seen leaves on most of my fruit bushes and my apple tree!

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