Friday, 22 June 2007

Busy

Things are really taking off now, im expecting tomatoes any day now. The courgettes have finally got it together and are making progress so that i'm able to give each customer a decent box. The potatoes are beginning to flower and producing delicious creamy spuds for supper.
And great news...the bees swarmed!
More on this later and more posts later..I promise!

Friday, 8 June 2007

Slugeroos

You know I like to think of myself as a holisitic kind of guy..I've done a lot of research into minerals and pests and how they interact. There's an interesting theory by a frenchman called Francis chaboussou

He shows through hundreds of studies how it is the bio-chemical makeup of the plant which influences what and how many insect "pests" attack it.
And the thing is once you familiarise yourself with this theory you can see how they are not attacking it..
Take an aphid for instance, it likes a certain flavour in a plant. When nutrient levels are low/ plants are fed high dosees of nitrogen to speed growth, the plants sap tastes good to them and so they feed. If the plant has it's full quota of minerals (up to 80) then it doesent taste good to the aphid and they move on..

This theory works across the board, whether it's blight on potatoes, aphids on your aubergines..their job is to clean up the plants that aren't healthy:- "Nature's clean-up crews"!
It's only us humans who decree that this is friend or that one is foe...
Which brings me to slugs...

Where in god's name do they fit in!!

I can give my plants seaweed, rockdust, only the best most wide spectrum feeds i can give and they still keep coming, hordes of them, slithery slimy slugeroos....

Aghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Only the other day i've had some of my beautiful orange courgettes massacred by them, literally overnight they ate about 6 of them.
I found the skeltal remains the next day, dripping in slime and past the point of return.


Revenge became an inevitable thing, the big water tanks soon became the extinction chambers, and soon their bodies were floating on the surface, belly up like the slug-titanic had just gone down.

This scheme has backired however, now everytime i dip my watering can into the water it becomes coated with slug slime and my arm along with it....

So the only resort i had(i think) is something called "Nemaslug" from the manufacturers website:

"Nemaslug uses the nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, which was discovered by scientists at the government research institute at Bristol, England.

One application of Nemaslug provides 300,000 nematodes for every square metre of soil, giving at least six weeks control of slugs. This is generally enough time for seedlings and bedding plants to get well established."

so basically these nematodes lay eggs in the slugs, these hatch and eat the slugs from the inside out..all the slugs die...

Now in a perfect world i would have hedgehogs and frogs eating my slugs, but as i'm establishing the site and my income is depending on it, for now we shall have to use nemaslug..

Isn't there something in the bible about a day when there is harmony between all creatures- the lion laying down with the lamb, I wonder when the gardener will lay down with the slug? (the thought of it!!)