Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A Beautiful Bank Holiday

What a beautiful bank holiday!
We had a great day on the plot in the sun and got loads done. The herb garden is now clear and ready to plant. Already growing you can see three tiny minarette fruit trees (two apples, one pear), a horseradish plant and two lavender plants.

And we've planted the first of our yarrow paths. It's hard to believe these tiny spidery plants will spread enough to fill the path, but I'll watch and wait...

While digging round the horseradish I cut a few pieces of root to plant among the potatoes - it's supposed to repel eelworms and improve their health generally. I've noticed a gap where one potato hasn't come up yet (bottom middle of the picture, although you probably can't see the gap for the weeds) - I hope it's doing all right down there!

Tiny weeds like this are coming up everywhere now. I seem to spend ages picking them out of the salad rows but it's an endless task.
The salad bed is starting to look pretty good though:

Although the mustard is being attacked flea-beetles, and they're starting on the mizuna and rocket too.

I've never had to deal with flea-beetles before - what do you do? I hear they're making derris unavailable as of this year so I won't have to make that is-it-harmless-enough? decision. My first reaction when I go out later will be to put my mint pots next to the rows - apparently flea-beetles don't like the smell. I might plant a couple of the sage seedlings I grew for the brassica beds there too.

The broad beans are suffering from something as well:

Is this vine weevil? I think so. There are a few blackfly too. The broad beans have had so many problems now I almost feel like giving up on them!

It's not all bad news though. Look at the carrots!

It may not like like much, but they've never got this far for me before. I'm so proud!

And the swedes are coming up too:

And to top the day off, we watched this damselfly emerging from its larval skin. Magic!


Matron said...

I heard a good treatment for flea beetles. Get a piece of board and smear treacle or golden syrup over it. Run this over and along and beside your affected plants and the critters will jump up and stick to the syrup. You can then leave it out for the birds to eat! As for your broad beans, it might be caterpillars. They tend to eat edges like that.

Christa said...

I found my way here from Vegmonkey's blog. Your garden looks really wonderful! I didn't know yarrow would work as a spreading plant in the pathways. Doesn't it grow tall? Anyway... it looks great. I am envious that you have asparagus growing... yum!

Nome said...

Thanks Matron - I'll give it a try.

Christa - thanks for dropping by! I've never tried the yarrow thing before but it's been highly recommended to me. Some varieties are tall, some are low growing and spreading - this one's supposed to reach a maximum 10cm. It's supposed to be hardy enough to walk on when it's established, repels a lot of flying pests, and attracts ladybirds too! Now all I have to do is cross my fingers and wait...

Anonymous said...

Hi Nome, it's pea and bean weevils (Sitona lineatus) that are nibbling your broad beans. They're unlikely to do enough damage to harm the plants so I wouldn't worry. With the black fly the simplest solution is to nip the tops of the beans out if they've grown enough because the black fly really only go for the tops.

Nome said...

Aaah, thanks Simon.
I've heard the tip about pinching out the tips before, but I'm gonna have to wait til the plants get big enough...

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