Fiann’s weekend tips

* This part of April sees the rise of many pest species. Not least burrowers that feast upon the fruits, roots and foliage of your edibles.

If you have apples look out for the adults and larvae of Hoplocampa testudinea better known as apple sawfly. 

The adults are most active in April and May, laying eggs into open blossoms. 

Their larvae will tunnel beneath the skin of the developing fruitlets and render the crop inedible.

* Now is the right time to cover or keep covered carrots with a fleece (ensure that the edges of the fleece are buried too) to stop any carrot root fly out on reconnaissance from gaining entry to your crop. 

Look out too for the re-emergence of slugs and snails. Traps and barriers do work.

* If this is your first month to dig over — note the soil will naturally store weed seeds, let them germinate before you go planting or amending soil.

This way you can see what to expect through the year as cultivation sporadically brings buried seeds to germination depths throughout the next few seasons.

* Keep thinning out this month. Rather than waste — bring a slice of bread and have a micro-veg salad sandwich.

If you have poultry then those Broilers may peck up and enjoy the soil overwinter populations of many pests.

* A timely check on stored crops, discard any bruised, shrivelling or rotting onions, garlic or potatoes, they are not just inedible but not viable as seed either when on the wane. The compost heap will welcome them.

* Blitz a bulb of garlic in a ½ litre of milk dilute 50/50 with water and apply via sprayer to aphid and mildew vulnerable crops.


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