Monday, 21 March 2016

Advice and Guidance from our March Speaker Darrell Maryon, Head Gardener Wortley Hall

  • Each garden is different and it is important to observe and understand nature carefully 
  • Very important to encourage insects and spiders
  • 90% of insects are neutral or beneficial. Manage periphery by leaving it untidy e.g.rough cut nettles before they flower to provide over-wintering sites for insects More chaotic, dynamic environments are less prone to huge pest damage 
  • Intercropping camouflages crops so less obvious and vulnerable to attack Mixing flowers with vegetables is pretty and bio-enhancing.
  • Darrell plants nectar rich bee and insect attractants at the entrance to his polytunnels e.g. calendula, clary sage, coltsfoot, corncockle, fennel, fleabane, hyssop, ivy, lavender, marjoram, michaelmas daisy, nicotiana, phacelia, rosemary, scabious, sweet william, wallflower, yarrow
  • Calendula gives out root exudations that deter (potentially damaging, esp. to potatoes) nematodes from the area.
  • Pests are necessary food for beneficial insects Cherish 'little crocodiles' i.e. ladybird larvae but be vigilant about Harlequin ladybirds which are the nost invasive ladybird species on earth
  • Hoverfly larvae eat aphids
  • Wasps eat cabbage white larvae
  • Sow thistles  - they make good sacrificial plants, they host aphids so encourage beneficial predators such as hoverflies
  • Plant mustard as green manure to control wireworms (larvae of click beetles) which bore holes in potatoes
  • Sodium bicarbonate as a fungicide spray for mildew 5g (1 tsp/1 Litre water)
  • Explore nettle and comfrey teas for natural pesticides

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