Sunday, 23 June 2013

Summer garden predator invasion

Summer has arrived, even though the weather doesn't necessarily feel like it. At least we have had a reasonable mix of sun and rain for the young, growing plants. Now that most of the vegetables have been planted (apart from the winter brassicas, which I'll plant in August), I should be able to relax and enjoy the garden, right? Unfortunately, no. The sun and rain have also been good for the weeds, and with the arrival of young tender vegetables comes the arrival of pests. Now is the time to develop a plan of attack to deal with the predator invasion!

I have allowed a couple of my mystery weeds to grow, figuring a larger plant would be easier to identify than a few sprouts.

But this turned out to be not entirely necessary, because I'm almost certain that I found my mystery weed in France, where it was already in glorious flower. Proving once again that weeds can be perfectly nice plants, just as long as they are not in my garden.

However, I still haven't tracked down the name. Can anyone help?

I usually manage to keep the weeds out of in the beds, but the weeds and grass on the paths and borders have reached such profusion, I've almost given up pulling out all but the most insidious. Just as long as I keep the height down I'm happy enough. While trimming the growth around the beds, I discovered traces of another pest. Someone has been stealing strawberries and hiding them for later!

This annoys me more than outright theft. I don't mind sharing my strawberries - I haven't even bothered to cover them with netting because from past experience I know the slapdash fortresses I build are too easily penetrated - but hiding the berries instead of eating them is just wasteful. They won't last in the grass, and the only ones who profit are the slugs. And I don't even know if slugs LIKE strawberries!

Another perennial garden pest is black fly, which right on schedule have started infesting my broad beans. I also noticed the rose bushes are covered with aphids, and the artichokes are starting to gather a smattering as well. In the past I have tried to regularly spray with a soapy water solution, with limited success.

This year I succumbed to Marshall's Seeds' timely email marketing, and ordered a pressure sprayer with FREE fruit and veg plant rescue and bug killer. Yes, my plants are under attack, and I'm in a killing mood!

At least my crop of potatoes seem to be healthy and pest free... so far.