Posts Tagged sawfly

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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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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Cages

Every year we’ve left our fruit out with no worries and to be honest, we’ve not had much in the way of bird damage.  But everyone else seems to, so to see whether we’ll increase our crop we’ve decided to cover over the majority of our raspberries and loganberries.  That’s why we’ve got cages! (Though the fruit one isn’t finished yet!)

Another item I’ve decided to cover is our brocoli.  Last year we were blighted by whitefly which inhibited our brassicas so much it pretty much dropped dead.  So what we’ve done (as you can see by the cobbled together white pic above) is stick four sticks in the ground and wrap liberally in netting which has such close weave whitefly just can’t get through it.

The next weekend innovation is our bean bed.  What I’ve done is dig a small trench and line it with pond liner.  This has a few holes in it and is back filled with sieved soil, fresh compost, blood fish and bone & poultry manure.  The pond liners purpose is to conserve water which beans love, but without water logging the roots.  My wife made the well built pole structure a few weeks ago and I had to be very careful not to destroy it…

Loads of stuff got potted up in the cold frame.  We got a frost last night, so we’re keeping stuff under for a few more days (but things are getting tall so not for much longer!)  The blossom is just starting to fall off the apple tree – so I’m hoping I get some better apples this year.

The gooseberries seem to be cropping heavily at the moment, last year I lost almost all of them after the sawfly got to them.  I’ve not netted them, I’m hoping that it won’t happen this year, but we’ll see.

Finally the potatoes – planted so late this year!  We’ve added grass to the furrows between the potato lines in a hope that it’ll conserve more water from the hot summer sun.  London clay sets hard as rock when wet and weeds grow where it’s moist, so why not stop both with a good layer of fresh mulch?

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