Wednesday, 12 November 2008

EARWIGS, POROUS TERRACOTTA POTS AND OTHER STUFF....

Multiguard1kgLots of people the world over, it seems, are having problems with earwigs...Hugh even has them in his wardrobe! Gavin, from The Greening of Gavin, has found a solution that works. You can read about it here. I saw Gavin's little jars of oil and yes, they were full of earwigs.....and he had only cleaned them out the day before.

I sometimes do a similar thing with Multiguard  snail bait. I know Multiguard is supposed to be only made from iron and this is what kills the slugs, snails and millipedes but I am always cautious about "products" so I put the pellets in glass or plastic containers, lying on their sides, under something like broccoli plants. The snails crawl in, eat and die. The rain doesn't get in....well, it wouldn't, if we had any, and the dripper line runs alongside. I just empty it every now and then and anyway I only use Multiguard when the seedlings are first planted out to give them a chance to get established. Strong, healthy plants are not troubled too much by insects, unless things get out of balance.

image Today is hot...already over 30C at 10am.....time for the terracotta pot treatment. I wrote here about the experiment I did last year when we had that heatwave, where I sealed up the hole in the bottom of some terracotta pots, put them into the ground up to their necks and filled them with water, then put on a lid and let the water soak out into the soil. I planted lettuce seedlings around some pots and celery and beans around another. This kept 5 lettuce plants growing happily through the heatwave and I even went out and could pick leaves in the hottest part of the day, and they were crisp......amazing. The beans grew fast and strong and the celery was the best I have ever grown and is only going to seed now..... 6 months of eating the stems piece by piece...that's pretty good!

So, when we get a cool change I am going to prepare my next garden bed with a terracotta pot every couple of feet or so and plant out the softest vegetables close in around the post and things with bigger root systems I will put a little further out, so there will be 2 rings of vegetables around each pot. Cover with something and fill with water and top up every few days. As I do it I will take photos.....of course/ as usual.....comme d'habitude (in French)..... and post them here.

Chaiselongue, from Olives and Artichokes, did it in France and I saw her beans that had survived and produced well in their hot, dry summer and she said next time she would do more of it because, like Gavin's little pots of oil, it is cheap and it works famously and you can't ask for more than that. So when there is next a hard rubbish collection near you, do as I did recently and go hunting for old terracotta pots....chipped and all.....anything will do.

4 comments:

Belinda said...

I hope you enjoy that I have nominated you for an award
http://belindas-simple-life.blogspot.com/2008/11/thankyou-tag.html

Kate said...

Thank you so much, Belinda, for nominating this blog for the award. Please forgive me for not following the rules but I am not much of a competitor and would like to just drift along through blogland, weaving in and out of people's thoughts, without any awards.

tina said...

Hi Kate,
I have gone for your idea of the unsealed terracota pots and found some pretty good priced for their size pots at Ikea of all places.
35cm Pots $6.95 and terracotta lid/base $3.95.
They are huge and hold over a weeks worth of water in some cases.
I was concerned about mozzies breeding but a piece of netting or such draped over the pot would keep the beasties out.
I have placed them around some established trees without digging them in to see if they will help through summer when my garden gets neglected due to work committments and water restrictions.. and life in general getting in the way. The little fig is looking good and I think it is thanks to the pot ..and the mulch around the pot which is keeping the root zone nice and cool and moist.
Thanks for the idea.

Gavin said...

Thanks for mentioning my earwig trap Kate. I must have missed this post when it was first put up. You guys write so many it is hard to keep up.

BTW, the earwig problem is over. I have caught 99% of them. I now have a slug problem, so will have to try out your tip about slug pellets in a jar, otherwise the dog and chooks will probably eat them.

Gav