Pests and Defences


This week has been all about building structures. We were kindly given a shed from the lady on the plot next door to ours, and decided to move and rebuild it on the hottest day of the year so far ! After much fun and games, we are now the proud owners of a new-old-shed and a fair bit of sunburn. This being England however, it was built just in time to shelter us from the rain that we’ve had ever since those few rays of sunshine.


We’ve also planted out our Dahlia Yams and Asparagus seedlings, and constructed two little wigwams this week – one for our Runner Beans which have finally gone into the ground (with sweet little Geraniums planted at each end of the bed), and one for Sweetpeas. The Sweetpeas are the first flowers to go into a corner of our new flower border, which we are creating along one side of the plot (also dug and rotivated in the sunshine – blisters and sunburn ahoy !) The Pea seedlings have also gone in to the ground in what can only be described as a ‘fortress’ of peasticks and wire mesh – no little critters are going to be munching on those (we hope).


Talking of little critters, our sunburnt skin and blistered hands were unfortunately not the only casualties of our work this week. After making our way to the bottom of the wood pile when reconstructing the shed, Mr O found what I can only describe as Flat Stanley’s smaller hairer mousier brother under the heavy pile of wood. Never have I seen a mouse so flat, poor thing. At least it died quickly !

What are not expiring so quickly, are the ants and green-fly spotted on the plot and around the garden this week. We haven’t had to deal with too may pests so far, so we’ve been weighing up the options. One option that appeals to me is the ‘Garlic spray’ idea – a simple concoction of water and garlic which deters aphids, slugs and snails. The benefit is that this is organic (and cheap !) On the down side, I have read that using Garlic spray can be unhelpful as it doesn’t discriminate about what it deters (and may also deter useful bugs).  We may well give it a try on one or two crops though, and I’ve even splashed out on a new spray bottle from Wilkinson’s for the job (70p !) Here is the simplest recipe I’ve found –

Blitz one bulb of garlic in the blender
Mix with a litre of water
Leave to stand for an hour or two
Strain out the garlic with a sieve
Spray on plants
Sit back and enjoy a bug free plot !


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