Sunday, March 14, 2010

So how are the grasshoppers now?

In the areas that were sprayed they are in much  lower numbers than they were last week. I'd say it has reduced them to less than one twentieth of the numbers last week. I can only assume that it has worked and worked well. I even planted the tomatoes under fine netting, such was my confidence.

So no more spraying this week.
A flurry of planting was in order in the home garden.
First we needed to attack  a patch of couch grass that had been getting and bigger over the summer - thanks to my dearest for that one

Planted seedlings of Broccoli, paak choi, Gossip cabbage and seeds of Fennel , Coriander, Diakon radish.
All of these seeds have been saved from plants from previous seasons.
I cleared out one clump of snake beans as they have slowed down dramatically since the weather has been below 30 degrees, and the beans have taken on a bit of a purple tinge.

A big harvest of Pumpkins today - about 30. A mixture of Jap, Butternut squash, and one called Red Curi.
There are also some Ironbark pumpkin but they need to stay on the vine until the plant dies back to improve their keeping qualities.
Other things are progressing along well.
The maize is 10 feet tall

The cape gooseberries have decied to flower but  i read that they may take 60 or more days
to form edible fruits.
The pigeon pea is growin tall but no sign of flowering.

The New Guinea bean did not thrive here ovet the summer and i suspect it is not nematode resistent. This is in contrast to a bottle gourd that i grew which was absolutely rampant.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Operation grasshopper die! die! die!

No i'm not that worked up really about grasshoppers. They are annnoying and are preventing me from planting things which would otherwise be in the ground now - and i do like to get a head start mind.
The pumpkins seem to be a bit resisitent to them and that's mainly what i have left in the garden out at the plot. however if i planted tomatoes now they would be devoured in minutes. i don't even think my 20% shadecloth will stop them.

  Still, on the weekend i mixed up my fungal spores from the green guard and sprayed mercilessly. if this stuff works i will have have killed thousands of grasshoppers - mostly tiny little wee ones. I had a bit of a depot at my house where i mixed up the solution and had various grasshopper tormented people visit and pick up their solution.

There are so many grasshoppers though in the wider landscape that i'm not sure this spraying will have a very long effect - unless the fungus starts to spread by itself amongst the "grassies" population. but i think that's being over-optomistic.
i have kept a small captive population so i can closely study what happens to them after they have been sprayed. if they do succumb to the fungi i can perhaps blend them up into a new mixture.

So as well as spraying the grasshoppersat 3 locations on the weekend i knocked off the turkeys, ate off(rotten) pate, threw up and sat on the toilet for a while,ate a turkey (with stuffing),made stock, put the male and female rabbits back together (sorry i don't name them but if they did have names they would be sno ball and meat head). The rabbits were "at it" in a matter of seconds and within a minute meat head had thrown himself onto the floor and was groaning in a breif afterglow. everythings' breif with rabbits.

We also did a bit of mucking out of the rabbits cages and re-wired some parts of their cages that rusted through. they rust because they pee in the one spot and because my cages are not state of the art accommodation - but they are roomy.

watching my seedlings go a bit leggy because the hot house is too shady but the hardening off area is busy with other things i wish would move on.

I'm also watching (killing) the remaining grasshoppers around the corn as they have a habit of chewing of the "silks" as they emerge from the female flower. The fungus spray takes 7-12 days to work i think.

My cape Goodeberries have perked up again and have not bceome victims of nematodes after all

Now that the weather has turned cool coriander is on the planting list along with peas and radishes, carrots, pasnip, beetroot, more lettuce and chinese greens too - oh and Fennel and Stocks because i have a sentimental attatchemnt to them and probably other things i have forgotten.