I’ve just come back from a wananga with Robert Guyton at the Oxford Street Community Gardens in Masterton~ and I’m feeling all very inspired as well as comforted by the fact that good things do take time – more so with gardens and forest gardens than even cheese!
Of course I knew this, we all know this, but it’s good to get reminded now and then…
One thing Robert talked about that I was going to bring up on here (I have several drafts) and that is of aphids.
They’re having a bit of a field day here at the moment. I think because we had a relatively mild winter here (so we’re told, I though it was cold enough!) so their cycle didn’t really get broken.
I’m all for squashing them. They love white sage and calendula, actually I’m not sure what they don’t like! But at least squashing them on the aromatics you have nice smells whilst you’re at it.
When squashing you’ve got to do it every three days for at least a couple of weeks if you want be effective. You’ll always miss some and the poor blighters are born pregnant. If you have plants in pots you can dunk them in water and rub the aphids off. If you have well sturdy plants you can try blasting them off with the hose. And repeat. Check for ants as well; they are industrious farmers that literally farm/manage aphids for the sweet substance they excrete after sucking your plants.
Robert Guyton talked about some plants he has in profusion on his land, for example Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum), Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) and (gasp!) Hemlock (Conium maculatum). All Umbellifers/Apiaceae and all attractive to hoverflies, and hoverflies loove aphids. Dill, you may flower!
Now that is a long term solution that I am into. Ladybird larvae also eat aphids. You are not going to get these predatory/beneficial insects if you spray with chemicals though so put them away. Please!
It will take some time but Nature will find its balance, that’s what it does… you could almost say it’s an expert~