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Pests

  • Careful now! Minding yourself in the garden

    Stay safe out there, its a scary world! Put tools away, keep sharp objects safe. Keep fertilizers and any garden sprays or pallets away from children and pets. Careful when lifting heavy objects. Look after knees with either a kneeling cushion or knee-pads. Protect from the sun. Always wear gloves and cover wounds with waterproof dressing. Keep a small first aid kit handy.  Keep tetanus shots up to date. Wear a dust mask when strimmering to avoid bracken spores and fine dust particles. Do not put cooked food on the compost heap as this can attract rats. Compost
  • Flea Beetle and How to Control Them

    Why are there holes in my Rocket? These tiny (and unsightly) holes that have appeared (often suddenly) in the leaves of young Brassica plants are the distinctive damage of the rarely seen Flea Beetle and can be very off-putting to the beginner gardener. WHAT ARE FLEA BEETLES The term Flea Beetle is used to describe a number of different species of beetles of the Chrysomelidae and they are found throughout the World. Flea Beetles are very small (usually 2- 3mm in size), shiny and oval shaped, and they can be dark blue, greenish purple or black in colour. As their name
  • Ladybirds in the garden - the benefits they bring and how to identify them

    Ladybirds (or ladybugs if you prefer) tend to be more prominent after a spell of hot weather like we have just had, and we have noticed that we are fortunate enough to have some in our garden. If you are not familiar with Ladybirds larva you may be inclined to think that it is a pest that you should think about getting rid of.  However having ladybirds in your garden is of great benefit to any organic gardener as they help to eliminate destructive pests like aphids, mites and scale insects. How to identify Ladybird Eggs The female ladybird will lay 10-50 eggs on a
  • Helping Winter Wildlife

    Winter can be tough for the wild things- but it is not too hard for us to help. Helping birds: Help birds in winter by placing fat blocks in wire cages. Balls in plastic nets are not recommended as birds can get caught in them.  The empty nets also end up as litter as they are often forgotten or dislodged by the weather. You can put out finely chopped bacon rind and grated cheese for small birds such as wrens. Thrushes and blackbirds favour fruit. Scatter over-ripe apples, raisins and song-bird mixes on the ground for them. Do not leave out large quantities of food
  • Carrot Root Fly

      The carrot root fly (Psila rosae), pictured below looking like butter wouldn't melt in it's mouth, is responsible for much grief amongst home gardeners and commercial growers alike. It is partial to dining on a number of vegetables in the Apiaceae, or carrot, family of plants. It can affect parsnip, parsley, celery and celeriac but is most notorious for reducing your carrot crop to an inedible mess. Carrot fly is a small black-bodied fly which lays its eggs beside victim crops. The larvae then hatch out and feed on the roots as they burrow into them. Sometimes
  • Gooseberry Sawfly

    Sawfly larvae Gooseberry sawflies lay eggs on your gooseberry plants. When the caterpillars hatch out they can devastate the plant leaves so that you end up with a bush that looks like this - Gooseberry sawfly damage They also attack red and white currant bushes. The fly arrives anytime from April onward. The female sawflies lay eggs on the underside of leaves, low down in the center of the bush, so the young larvae go unnoticed until they have eaten their way upwards and outwards, devouring the leaves as they go -  often defoliating a bush completely. They can
  • Managing Weeds Organically

    Weeds are particularly difficult for organic farmers to deal with as chemical herbicides are, of course, strictly prohibited. Broadly speaking, there are four approaches for weed control in an organic situation: Mechanical and manual weeding Flame weeding Mulching Green manures Mechanical & Manual Weeding Dock and Ragwort Digger. Excellent for getting out the long tap-root. This covers any method which physically interrupts any unwanted plant growth. Perhaps the most obvious (and most off-putting) method is the hand pulling of weeds. Physically uprooting
  • Controlling blight using organic methods

    It's the time of year to start thinking about preventing blight - especially in your potato crop. There are now some excellent blight resistant varieties suitable for organic growers. We saw great demand for these this spring and sold out quickly. We'll make sure to have as many blight resistant varieties as possible next year. Another way to avoid blight is simply to grow earlies or 2nd earlies and get them harvested before blight takes hold. This does mean that you may not get such a large yield, and may not be suitable for people looking to store through the

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