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Monday, 7 October 2013

A Little Garden Every Day

Daylight saving is just great, making our days longer in the evenings - which doesn't affect me so much, but is great for those people in the workforce so they get more leisure time.
I try to do a few hours gardening every day, whether it is raising seeds on wet days or getting our vege garden into shape or mowing lawns. Sometimes it is being out at night catching slugs and snails. 

Diatomaceous Earth
I have been reading about this stuff - which is fossil shell flour, and is an organic way to control chewing insects in the garden and even ants and cockroaches in the house (not that we have those) and fleas on animals.
So, I have just ordered some from as we are not happy about spreading slug and snail baits in our garden. 

Feijoa pests

For those people who don't get subtropical fruit, feijoas are the most delicious, fragrant fruit that are usually abundant in Northland.
 Last year we got no fruit from them and suspected insects of eating the flowers.

feijoa flowers
Last night while we were outside we checked our feijoa trees and found beetles all over them, which we have identified from Google as being bronze beetles.

I have tried spraying with neem oil twice - but it hasn't had much effect. Last night, after our Google info search Derek sprayed them with our Ecomist - natural pyrethrum - canister, that we keep for fly control inside. I just went to check and to get a photo, and all I could find were the dead ones we had squashed last night. So not a very good photo, but here they are. 

not easy to see the beetles, but there is the damage they do - holes chewed.

Pyrethrum Daisy
I picked up a pot of pyrethrum daisy at the garden centre the other week, as the above mentioned Ecomist is rather expensive at $20/ can. I was delighted to find that there were 6 plants in my pot which was about $3. Now all I have to do is wait for flowers, dry them, powder them and make my own spray ..easy haha.
pyrethrum daisy

I have planted them around the vege garden in the hopes that they will act as a deterrent whilst growing, and I will be planting more under all of the feijoa trees.

I picked up a copy of Organic NZ magazine in our library the other week - what a wealth of interesting articles.

I rather liked one called "Diary of a Green Guerrilla" by Robert Guyton, about people who are planting seedlings of fruit trees on wasteland, and on the street verge outside their homes. Instead of throwing out peach stones and melon seeds etc, they throw them into a raised bed of old compost. Whatever grows gets planted out somewhere surreptitiously.
I also discovered from there that there is a local shop selling cotton buds made from bamboo and cotton, as it seems the only ones to be bought in the supermarket are made with plastic stems. Local suppliers can be found at and for bamboo toothbrushes too.

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