Living the Good Life…

Adventures of the garden patch

Clean up time!

As you can see the garden is quite a mess after the winter months lots needs cutting back so that the new shoots can come through…

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Organic Growing Workshop

Today I attended an Organic Growing workshop, down at the deepdale allotments, run by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

I found out new ways of creating compost and feed for soil, with the main message that gardens grow best when they create their own eco system. I was told that this was hard to create in pot based gardens and greenhouses but I still got a few more ideas. Basically the research shows that farms that used pesticides, and feed, eneded up with worse soil and smaller crops. This is becuase using artifical feeds including liquid feeds and slow release, is that the soil becomes dependant upon the feed, it looses its richness, and the natural balance is lost. This obviously does not apply to growing in pots, becuase there soil is dependant any way as it is speperated and does not have the same access to organic matter and insects. However i did raise my issue concerning my green-fly epidemic and white fly and explained that i had previously used the pesticed which had damanged the plants but that i was now considering introducing ladybirds to the plants and greenhouse to combat the green fly population.  I was given a few options of natural pesticides however most had foul smells as with the fertilisers, but introduing ladybirds was agreed would be the best and most natural way.

As I have found before with reserach in conservation ecosytems and predator-prey relationships, is that everything balances something else out, so fr instance if there is a plague on wilderbeest, lion populations will decrease, then with predator numbers falling, wilderbeest numbers can recover, and as wilderbesst population s restore lion popluatins rise and if wilderbeest numbers rise to high due to recovering lion populations then lion numbers will also increase due to teh abudndance of food etc. And so the two constantly work to balance the population of both, in nature if a population gets out of control, another will always come along to reduce it. So with this in mind predators such as ladybirds would naturally be attracted to the green and white fly and then control the pests.

So i have decided firstly to take my strawberries out of the green house, as they will have more chance of attracting predators than trapped in the greenhouse. Unfortunatly i can not take any of the others out as they rely to heavily on the warm temperatures so I am looking at capturing or breeding ladybirds to release in my garden and green house. Plus not only willthe ladybirds not damage or affect my plants they will also be eating the greenfly so there wont be any dead flys left all over my plants and greenhouse!

My problem with slugs is not quite as simple, many people had similar problems and unfortunatly there is no 100% way of getting rid of them. Areas with higher brid populations, see’s less slugs, however birds also will eat growing fruit and veg. Physical barriers were suggested as the best defense so i may have to give this ago aswell.

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Garden Overview…

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Garden overview

This is my second overview of the garden, since my last pictures, I have planted more flowers in the wall baskets and hanging baskets, I have planted in my carrot and onions into the small raised bed, I have re-potted my Goosebury, red currant and blackcurrent trees into larger pots allowing them more space to grow. My Strawberry plants have started fruiting, and my herbs and beetroot are growing nicely… The garden looks fuller, as everything starts to come up!

 

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New Flowers

This weekend I bought some new flowers to add a bit of colour to the garden and help attract a few more bees to the garden. The plant below is a pelargonium trailing, called Temprano which is a nice scarlet colour…

I have potted it up and placed it near my strawberry plant and one of my fruit trees to help encourage pollination, and create a little trail for the bees and other pollinating insects to follow, also it looks rather nice there and adds a little bit of well needed colour to the surrounding onions. Also it will work well next to the sweet pea trellis as they grow bigger and start to bloom.

Its place within the garden…

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Garden Overview

Most plants in the garden now seem to be doing well, the only problem i have had recently is with slugs! they ate half of one of the cucumber plants so I have put down slug pellets and moved them to the top shelf.

 

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