Even though I love my garden, there are a few things I wish I could change.
We’ve had very little rain but our gardens are jumping out of the ground, almost like they think it might rain or maybe worse, that it might be their last supper! With the long term forecast predicting no real rain until March, its going to be a long summer to keep our plants watered. I hope ‘they’ are wrong.
It’s also the best time to be gardening at the moment: it’s not too hot yet and our gardens are looking fresh and new with their glorious spring growth and flowers.
But with that comes all the pests and diseases that have been waiting dormant over the winter.
As many of you would know, curly leaf in your stone fruits was really bad last year, and this year seems equally as bad.
I was vigilant with my treatment of my stone fruit this year, determined to beat it.
Even though I sprayed them at pruning time and again on bud burst, the trees are still ridden with the unsightly disfigured curly leaves.
It is worth picking off the worst leaves and disposing of them into a plastic bag and taking them to the tip (far far away from the trees).
Then a treatment of urea (follow the instructions), a very strong form of nitrogen which will encourage the trees to grow new, hopefully healthy foliage.
I would love it if someone would develop an organic product that knocks curly leaf, forever.
Another rampaging bug of the season is the aphid – they are on everything, even plants they ordinarily would not munch on.
Lady beetles love aphids, and you should notice a marked increase in them around your garden.
The problem we have with treating aphids is the chemical to kill aphids will also kill lady beetles.
If you gently squeeze the aphids on the plant, and kill them, the other aphids don’t really like their friends being dead and will sometimes move on – its worth a try if you are trying not to spray.
It would be great if someone could create an aphid deterrent that didn’t impact other insects.
Many folk live in rural and semi-rural locations and in country towns and villages around the district, and many of you become very aware of snakes waking up at this time of the year.
Something that would be great to change is the colour of garden hoses in the country.
In a garden I was in last week, a hose was black with a red stripe – REALLY? Those colours make me jump with fright.
It would be fantastic if hoses were flouro, then there would be no mistake it was a snake, and it makes them easier to see in the long grass, so you don’t run over it with the mower.
Birds have been ravenous this year. Everyone I have spoken to has mentioned dealing with some form of bird decimation in their garden.
Most things don’t work, as the birds scoff at the idea that a cd flapping in the wind is supposed to be scary for them.
I have had some success with toy snakes and seasol.
Make sure if you order toy snakes online that they are at least 30cm long (many are smaller than 20cm).
Spray seasol on the foliage of affected plants, most animals don’t really like the smell, including possums.
I would really love it if we could buy small, movement activated gas guns, that popped a big noise to frighten our feathered friends away, at least for spring.