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few weeks, stopping two weeks prior to the show. In the final week we'll just remove the flower heads that are going over.As spring advances, so do the pests. We've had our first outbreak of aphids, and have responded by spraying the plants
Last week I mentioned that my broad beans were mysteriously free from their usual curse of blackfly. Strictly speaking, blackfly isn't a black fly, but a 'black bean aphid'.And while my broad beans may be free from the pest this year, they normally
The plot is abuzz with wildlife, including ladybirds, lacewings, bumblebees and ground beetles. They're all marvellous for my crops; bees increase my yields by pollinating flowers, and ladybirds and lacewings eat a lot of aphids. As well
lacewings have started to seek out basic B with no B in the old out building near my house. Their young or larval stages are such voracious predators of aphids that I'm happy to have their parents to stay any time! Quite often they turn up in the house too
Up to town today, and while waiting for the number 12 bendy bus, 12-year-old and I examine the trunk of a lime tree overhanging the stop. There's a whole ecosystem in just a few square feet of bark.Most prominent are the white waxy remains of horse
cypress aphid (No. 10) with civil words and offers of a cup of tea.
to encourage good cross-pollination between plants, each plant needs space to grow. This year each plant is at least 30-45cm (12-18in) from its neighbours, which should be enough.I'm trying a few varieties this year, including 'Swift', which is described as "an