One of the key principles of the Intelligent Garden is working with nature to control pests.
A good way of doing this is to use predators to bring the pests back into balance. For instance we might use nematodes to control slugs and vine weevils or ladybird larvae to eat aphids.
Despite at least three or four nights when the temperature here has gone down to -5C before Christmas, the little blighters are still flourishing like the green bay tree and homing in on the Pak Choy and Tatsoi with knives and forks in hand. We are going to be under siege for months to come.
Down here not a million miles away from the Ashdown Forest we have packs of wild deer roaming the countryside looking for things to munch. As part of the development of the Forest garden we have been protecting the fruit trees and Camellias with plastic mesh cages. However at the Intelligent Garden we like to work with nature where possible so I was delighted to come across this piece via Twitter. I’ve reproduced some of it because it’s so useful.
Those of you who follow Gardener’s World may remember that Monty Don was warning you about these last week. If you don’t nobble them now they’ll keep on chomping away at your plants and their roots all through the winter so that by the spring they’ll be feeling sorry for themselves.
Healthy Plants resist pests up to a point. Companion planting can help, garlic washes and other organic treatments can be beneficial. But sometimes you just have to go on the offensive. It doesn’t matter how healthy the plants are – if there’s a pitch invasion of caterpillars they’re going to suffer unless you do something about it.
News of 2 new predators for Red Spider Mite, the predatory gall midge, Feltiella and californicus.
After our long hard winter, March is finally here! Every year when your garden comes to life, so do the other creatures that want to share your plants with you – the PESTS. Biological controls will help you tackle the common pests in the garden and greenhouse.
The RHS has just published a review of the most common questions they’ve been asked about over the last year. Here is a list of the top 10 culprits.
In the middle of all this is a bed of Caliente Mustard. It’s one of those plants that secretes stuff from its roots that the bad guys in the soil don’t like – it’s kind of green manure with attitude. I’ve taken the liberty of photographing the notice so you can be fully informed.