Friday, 13 January 2012

What barriers will be necessary this year?

Every year I cover the carrots with enviromesh but this year I will have to cover other vegetables as well.  I may put some spring onions between the rows of carrots as well. This is to prevent damage from Psila rosae.

The cauliflowers and the cabbages will be covered with enviromesh primarily to keep the cabbage white, Pieris brassicae, caterpillar away from them but also to stop slug and snail damage too. I know there will be some in the soil too and this is why I will be watering on some anti slug nematodes as well.  With any luck the enviromesh will keep any cabbage root flies, Delia radicum brassicae, away.  So it will be worthwhile putting it over these brassicas.  I will be liming this soil quite heavily to see if I can prevent club root Opiopanax horridum.  There is some club root in the brassicas now and I want to prevent this from spreading onto other areas.

The third area which I will have to cover is the onion bed.  I will be covering the leeks, garlic and the onions.  Only in this way will I be sure to prevent damage from Phytomyza gymnostoma.  I am going to put some lime on this area too to see if it will prevent white rot Sclerotium cepivorum.

The big tabby cat knows that there is a rat on the allotment.  It came and sat in my shed until it got fed up and wandered away. Tomorrow, I might put some milk down to encourage it to stay.   Today, I saw the blooming rat looking at me as if it had no cares in the world.

I still have a small area where the parsnips were to sieve for stones.  I lifted the final parsnip today and it was relatively big.  I'd say about 600mm at least.  As with the majority of the other parsnips and carrots, it was not forked.  Does this mean that the old wives tale about stony ground giving you forked parsnips and carrots is false?  I don't think that you could get a much more stony ground than the soil I am sieving so why haven't I got forked roots?

Another myth that is more anecdotal than factual.

I think that the myth about carrots and parsnips forking if you put manure in is also false.  As far as I can see they fork or not regardless of how you prepare their soil.

Believe it or not the slug beer traps are full and need to be replaced.  I forgot to do it today so I must tomorrow.  I will also put some more ferric phosphate around.  I don't like using this chemical but it is much less damaging that other slug pellets.  It also degrades into a fertilizer.

I am putting the traps and pellets underneath the tarpaulin to keep them away from other creatures and to stop the cups from being filled with rain.

When the sun went down today, it got very cold.  I hope there is a really good frost tonight to kill off some of these pests.

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