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Crop Protection

June 27, 2013

The allotment beds are almost full and it would be lovely to be looking at rows of  healthy un-blemished produce nestling harmoniously together, shoulder to shoulder, and separated by nothing more than rows of marigolds and nasturtiums. But the reality is that all brassicas need protection from caterpillars and birds (as soon as they are planted) and the berries on currant and gooseberry bushes need to be netted against birds.  A gap in the net covering the cabbage plants below left ten plants shredded.

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A cost-effective and flexible solution is netting supported by MDPE blue water pipe which is available on eBay and from builders merchants. It can be cut with a saw to any length leaving enough depth about 20cms – to secure it in the soil. Re-usable and long-lasting it’s possible to have a variety of hoop heights to suit all crops.

Weeding is still a priority on the allotment although the weeds should slow down from now on. Watering is also essential inspite of heavy downpours since the wind seems to be drying the soil surface. The leaves on the potatoes were horizontal yesterday but a bucket or two of water restored them to upright.

In the garden the rambling rose R.Violette is in bloom with its double violet-purple flowers mingling prettily with the white flowers of Hydrangea petiolaris along a grey stone wall.

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And I am enjoying the Allium multibulbosum colliding with Allium christophii in a mixed bed. The tall alliums work well with the lower mounds of mainly Mediterranean planting: santolinas, lavender, helicrysum and sage.

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Purple sage below looks pretty even before any flowers appear…

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And in the garden next door a Gallica rose R. Belle de Crecy is scenting the garden and looking very beautiful against a stone wall.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2013 2:19 pm

    Your picture of nibbled cabbages just gives me that heart sinking feeling … we’ve used similar blue piping to you (http://the rookieallotmenteers.wordpress.com) and all well so far – fingers crossed … 🙂

  2. June 27, 2013 2:29 pm

    It’s on the plot next to mine and there was quite a gap in the netting. It’s a shame since they are new on the allotment and very keen with a really impressive start. But it’s a bit of a learning curve and one that we all go through especially with those pesky pigeons.

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