Thursday, 21 June 2012

Pest/Damage Quiz

I was going to write a few boring paragraphs about all the tedious things that had gone wrong this month but as I was asking my husband to guess what had gone wrong this time, I thought I'd leave my few readers to guess too.

Okay, answers:

a. Apple sawfly (nibbles paths along surface before burrowing into core). Control: spray after petal drop if you can be bothered, remove all affected fruitlets.

b. Squirrel

c. Splitting due to seasonal June torrents

Monday, 11 June 2012

Mea Culpa - pheromone traps

I meant to post quite a while back that I'd decided to try moth pheromone traps for the first time as a couple of apples and one plum are very badly affected by the relevant species. I bought some from a common-or-garden centre in Bicester, and managed to get them both in place by mid may. 4 codling moths appeared in the trap around the last couple of days of the month, and I notice the first plum marauder turn up about a week later. All dark, dull, undistinguished moths  about 5mm long. My aim was to spray the trees soon after to catch the tiny caterpillars just before they started to burrow their way into the fruitlets, but the weather was so bad that it was just impossible. Yesterday I found a nice, plump fruitlet with a pin-sized hole, and cut it open to reveal a surprisingly large grub around 4-5mm long, so it's now completely pointless attempting to spray the affected apples; I will try to spray plum tomorrow, deluges-permitting.

The moth 'reservoir' Grenadier tree in the new plot of land has been thinned by one third for the third year in a row, so that hopefully there will be fewer infected windfalls to dispose of or infect the neighbouring garden, as well as the hope of better quality fruit overall.