Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pesky Pests!

My allotment is being munched to death at the moment - but I'm not the one doing the munching!  My lovely Runner Beans are being shredded. I've never seen damage this bad and this quickly before!  Other climbing beans have been destroyed right down to the ground.  This warm, wet Winter has been heaven for pesky pests.
 Someone has been munching my potato leaves too!  and I thought potato leaves were poisonous - they are being decimated.  The warm, wet weather has also meant there is a blight warning too.
 My lovely Black Forest climbing courgette has had the leaves and the growing point nibbled out too! grrrr.  Only a few weeks ago I bought a big pack of nematode worms which I applied to the soil correctly and kept moist as directed.  It doesn't seem to have done any good, the slugs and snails are worse than I have seen in years.
 Not just slugs, but the gooseberry sawflies have been munching their way through the foliage too.  Just in a couple of days they have reduced the plant to sticks!  I've had a close look to see if I could pick some off but see nothing! grrrrr!
 and... early this Spring I fumigated my greenhouse with a sulphur candle to kill pests in the greenhouse, particularly the red spider mites which had been a bad problem in previous years... and they are back nibbling sandy spots on my greenhouse cucumbers already. Grrrrrr!
 So let's have another go at garden friendly pest remedies before I resort to sprays. I bought a packet of Phytoseiulus Persimilis, a predator which eats red spider mites. Let's see what happens here.  I just hope these work.  I am REALLY looking forward to these special melon cucumbers from Seeds of Italy.
The Phytoseiulus are attached to this vermiculite which is tipped on to the leaves in the greenhouse.  The eggs hatch in 7 days and start munching the red spider mites.  You can see the damage to this young cucumber leaf already and the plant only has 3 leaves!  It is one long battle this year!


At 9:29 PM, Blogger Dewberry said...

I'm sorry about your plants. I fight with slugs and snails too. So far, they ate majority of my kale and a few cabbages. I don't know what to do with them, nothing seems to work.

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Beautyat40andbeyond said...

I feel your pain! The awful slugs have killed one cucumber plant, eating all our beetroot seedlings and almost killed a pepper plant. Grrrr...

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

Batten down the hatches!We had sawfly a few years ago on our one and only gooseberry bush. They had munched most of the bush by the time I saw it ( the damage)not knowing at the time what it was,I grabbed the hose and blasted the plant and the remaining leaves with a prolonged watering and never had any more trouble from the sawfly!
I'm not a believer in nematodes, its a bit creepy letting invisible 'thingys' loose so to speak!
I will watch your blog updates with interest.

At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Zoe said...

There's definitely more slugs around this year. They're causing mayhem on my plot too. I gave up trying to grow mangetout peas, every time a shoot appeared it got eaten.


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