Tag Archives: codling moth in apples

In the Garden: August 27, 2010

  • The Living Art bonsai fraternity will be at Cedar Lodge Nursery on Egmont Road this Sunday from 10am to 4pm and are keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with anybody interested in learning more. Some might style this hobby as occupying the bondage and discipline sector of the gardening world and there is no doubt that the skills are highly specialized so it helps to learn from people who know what they are doing.
  • You are running out of time for moving large plants. They need time to settle in and make some fresh root growth before the heat of summer starts. Take as large a root ball as you can manage and prune back the top to reduce the stress on the plant. Make sure you dig a deep enough hole to replant, ensuring that the level of the plant remains the same but no deeper than it was.
  • September is nearly here and that is the big time for planting the summer vegetable garden. If you haven’t yet dug your green crops in, do it this very weekend so the process of breaking down in the soil can be well underway before you want to plant.
  • Learning to grow vegetables from seed can save you a great deal of money as well as extending the range of different varieties you can grow. Some seeds, such as carrots, peas, onions, beet and lettuce can be sown directly into the position where they are to grow. Others, particularly tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, aubergines and pretty much anything exotic or needing a long growing season are started in seed trays or small pots for planting out later in the season. Egg cartons can be a useful quick turnover seed tray and, like the cardboard core of toilet rolls or even newspaper folded into tubes mean that when the seed has germinated and put on some growth, you can plant out the whole item without disturbing the roots. The temporary pot will decompose very quickly in the soil but keep this technique for germinating quick turn over crops such as lettuce, cabbage or bok choy.
  • If you haven’t got a copper spray onto your deciduous fruit trees yet, do not delay. You want it done before bud break and that is imminent.
  • Further to the article on growing apple trees at home by Glyn Church in the Taranaki Daily News last week, I have been looking at control of codling moth, the single most troublesome pest we have for apples. The short answer is that there is too much information to summarise in brief. If you are organic, Hort Research have been doing a lot of work on organic controls which you can find easily on the internet. There are no one-step answers – the pheromone traps need to be used in conjunction with other measures. The collar of corrugated cardboard around the main stems is not a stand-alone technique. If you had a problem last year and didn’t do anything, it will get worse this year. This is why we will be resorting to spraying this year, to try and break the cycle after a decade of total neglect which has allowed numbers to build up. Springtime is when you need to start the fight against codling moth.

In the Garden November 27, 2009

• Try planting up simple pots as Christmas gifts but get them done now to have them looking at their best in a few weeks time. Punnets of annuals are ridiculously cheap to buy. Planted now, three small plants (plugs, they are called) will fill a pot which measures around 20 to 25cm across. I still remember my splendid summer combination years ago of blue ageratum and cerise petunias. Or you can find cheap herb plants if you want to give an instant herb garden. Ceramic and terracotta pots are inexpensive these days, especially the classic terracotta type despite the fact they still seem to be imported from Italy. This is a good activity to carry out with children and will go down well with grandparents as it shows thought and effort. The cheapest potting mix is fine for annuals but keep the pots well watered and protected from slugs and snails while they settle in.
• With summer coming, set the level on the lawnmower a notch higher. Cutting the lawn very short does not mean you reduce mowing. Instead it tends to stress the grass so the weeds move in.
• If you have onehunga weed in your lawn, you have left it late to spray it but it is the one really bad weed which we think justifies a chemical assault. It is the weed that puts tiny prickles into any bare feet that dare tread upon it. There is a targeted spray called, we understand, Prickleweed Killer which doesn’t kill off the desirable grasses. If there are any children in your life, get onto dealing to it this weekend as your first task. Do not let this weed go to seed.
• Apples will have set their fruit for the year which means that if you had a codling moth issue in the past which you have not done anything about, odds on the larvae are scaling the trunk now to reach the fruit, if they have not yet made the journey. This means it is too late for pheromone traps which are designed to catch the moth before it lays eggs. You will either have to put up with moth eaten fruit or resort to some insecticide spray. Apparently lavender bushes or nasturtiums planted below will discourage infestations in the future but we have yet to see proof of this. It may be worth a try but I would keep to lavender because it is likely that rampant nasturtiums will engulf your entire apple tree. Tipping new growths by hand will largely deal to the leaf curling midge which attacks the very ends. Unroll the leaves and you may find a small pink creature inside. You either nip them off or spray them.
• The end of this month means you are running out of time to plant kumara, yams and any other type of sweet potato. Give these priority along with tomatoes. Potatoes planted now will be a late crop so you don’t want to delay on these either.
• It is four weeks until Christmas so get quick maturing salad vegetables in this week for harvesting at that time. It is much nicer to head out and pick your own mesclun, rocket, microgreens and radishes.
• If you are a fan of monarch butterflies, you will need to get swan plant seed in urgently to get the autumn crop through to feed the late caterpillars. Real enthusiasts will also be sowing seed trays of zinnias, marigolds and other autumn crops of annuals to feed the butterflies.