Had my usual stroll through the garden and have decided you’re coming with me. Spent time picking off green caterpillars from the Bairnsdale cabbages, kicked off a few weeds and marvelled at Jonny’s emerging carrots; we planted them together only a week ago and determined little green hairs of carroty promise are pushing through. Jonny is staying with his school chum, Tom (got a pool) so he won’t know about his new little charges until Nestor drives him back home tomorrow. I must speak to Jonny about missing the moment. I was at all four of my children’s births and just for the record, so was Angela. Apparently, had I missed the delivery, my paternal bond would be less assured than it is now. Hmm, hard to know. Better watch to see if the carrots prefer me to Jonny as a result of him spending time with his mates rather than attending to family duties. I suspect someone will be in need of therapy… Probably me.
Back to the stroll. Something is chewing my chilli plants, effectively ring-barking them just above the soil and cutting off nutrient, water and therefore life. No big deal, only two plants out of 300 or so, but will be keeping a close look to see if the culprit (probably lawn beetle) is on the move. Two more plants down and it’s a mayday call to Dr Paul Horne from IPM technologies, my war council on little invasion strategies.
Anyone growing cabbages is probably a caterpillar breeder too. Have a look at this juicy specimen, already halfway through the coleslaw. I turned my back on the Bairnsdale cabbages for what seemed like a minute, and what the hell! A battalion of grubs materialised and are attempting to deprive me of what Gerald promised me to be the greatest little cabbage he’s grown for use in coleslaw. I will be sending this photo to Dr Paul Horne for general advice. Currently, however I am avoiding sprays and walking the two rows, gathering the grubs and throwing them to delighted chickens. But, is there a better way? Let’s see.
Now, here’s the disturbing thing and the reason I’ve put… Used to be pen to paper, is it now fingers to keyboard? At any rate, the tomato plants, all varieties, are in excellent condition. Sturdy stemmed, vigorous growth and deep green, however only relatively few flowers. Noel Jansz from Elders Bainsdale, what do you recommend? Probably should be picking back more laterals so the plants can redirect growth towards cropping, but have at the back of my mind the need to keep enough foliage to screen fruit (technically berries to the pedant) from the harsh summer rays ahead. Over to you Noel… Or perhaps Vince from Neutrog, should I apply a planet friendly feed of flower promoting fertiliser? Hope to hear from you soon.