Tag Archives: Flowers

Pest Control

There are a couple of main methods I deploy to keep pests at bay on the plot.

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The first is Environmesh which I use to cover brassicas such as cabbage, cauliflowers and brussel sprouts. It can be made into tunnels as I have done here or can just be draped over canes and weighted down at the sides. Whilst it’s not that much of a necessity at this time of year it is essential from July to September to ward off cabbage white butterflies from laying there eggs unless you are picking them off by hand daily or spraying with insecticide which I don’t like to do. I’m still vigilant in case one has got in somehow and will pick off any caterpillars as soon as they emerge and deposit them on the bird table.

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I’m using a couple of sprays this year which are organic / biodegradable. The first is Garlic Wonder, an organic garlic concentrate marketed as the natural solution for healthy vigorous plants. The other is SB Plant Invigorator, marketed as an environmentally friendly growth stimulant and pesticide. I use Garlic Wonder every 2 weeks as a foliar spray on my carrots to ward off carrot fly as they are not covered. Time will tell if this has been effective. SB Invigorator is used in the greenhouse, again as a foliar spray every couple of weeks, particularly if I see any aphids or whitefly in there. It will also control spider mite and mealybug according to the label.

What forms of pest control do you use?

But the main pest I can’t seem to control is a neighbourhood cat which must visit early in the morning and attempt to dig up one of the beds – at the moment it’s the leek bed that I’ve just planted out. I’ve sprayed a cat repellent around but this hasn’t worked. Any ideas?

Don’t forget Open Farm Sunday tomorrow. You’ll find local farms are opening their doors and there’ll be plenty of events on up and down the country. I’ll be at our local community farm – River Bourne Community Farm – in Salisbury between 10am and 4pm. Looks like the weather is set fair for the day so why not pay a visit?

And finally a few photos of flowers in bloom in the garden at the moment. Have a good weekend everyone!

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Flower Power 2012

You may know that I don’t just grow veg in the Two Chances Plot, I am partial to some colour and dedicate a  bit of space to flowers either as companion planting to the veg or in their own bed.

I grow quite a few from seed and here’s the current stock list:

Swan River Daisy – Summer Skies

Sweet Pea – True Fragrance Mix & 20th Anniversary Mix (although I may not grow these again since I discovered I’m allergic to the cut flowers)

Sunflower – Harlequin F1 Hybrid, Giant & Russian Giant

Nicotiana Sylvestris

Aster Apollonia Appleblossom

Dwarf Candytuft – Fairy Mix

Rudbeckia – Marmalade

Alyssum – Golden Queen

Nasturtium – Jewel Mix

Pot and French Marigolds – which are my main companion plants and grown in bulk from seed to put in the greenhouse and around the plot.

And then there’s the Dahlia tubers which I stored overwinter last year (with some failures) but have left in the ground this year (under a thick mulch) to save time and space.   The Dahlia bed at the height of summer:

So what’s your most effective companion plant on the plot? And is there a flower(s) you just can’t do without in the garden?