Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pests and Weeds.

Bloggers being a pain and I can't even comment on my own blog.  How sad is that!!

We're still having heaps of pest problems and the pellets are looking better to me all the time.  WE, (Hubby) did an experiment.  He put pellets under a couple of my *traps*   In a couple of spots, away from root vegetables and lettuce, near the peas and brocolli.   All the slaters under them are dead and the plants have not been nibbled on.    The beds that he didn't do still have heaps, under the traps and walking across the soil and on the plants.  I have lost more seedlings to these bleedin' things.  He says that shows I should be using it where the seedlings are...Hmmm, I don't want to but I do want them to leave my food alone.
I put old grass clipping from the chook yards onto the gardens as mulch and the weeds I pull out I usually leave on the garden to rot down and feed the soil.   The gardens need to be fed but it does encourage these things.  I have been pulling away all this stuff  from the plants and keeping it to the side and scooping up the slaters that go there.  They still come out and eat the plants though as I cannot collect them all.  They burrow under the ground and dozens are missed.  Come Summer and this mulch will have to be spread over the garden again. 
Last year we tried penning in a few of the smaller chooks to scratch around and eat the slaters.  It didn't work.  Our gardens always have something growing in at least half of them and the silly chooks kept getting out and going for the growing green stuff.  I spent too much time fixing the makeshift fence and chasing chooks out of where they shouldn't be. 
The bloke out the back told us that he limed his pumpkin area before he planted otherwise the slaters got into his pumpkins so we tried that and it seemed to work but this year they are back in that bed.  And stuff didn't grow as well as it should have done because of the lime...We have thought of using diatomaceous earth but have been told by our rural supplier that it needs to be foodgrade and he doesn't sell it and I keep forgetting to look when I am out of town.

Over the last week I have notice the Cabbage White Butterfly around so it means I'll have to keep the baddie racquet's handy.  I wouldn't think or buying in poison for them as they are kinda controllable and the caterpillars can be picked off before they do too much damage.  It's just the slaters I hate and want gone once and for all.

Last year we lost all our peaches to Fruitfly.  It was a really bad year here for them and we had them in trees that haven't had them before.  Even the Strawberry Guavas were infected.  We were catching them in the traps but once again, there were so many.  Eveyone that I have spoken about it says the same thing.  Last year was a BAD year in our area for fruitfly.  I plan on putting the traps out again this week but Hubby has bought some spray.  He says his boss hates spraying but used this spray last year and he got fruit while we didn't.  The spray is EcoNaturelure and as the boss is a bit of a greenie I'm thinking it might be alright...
The traps I use are coke bottles with different homemade lures.  They did trap a lot but not enough to save the fruit.

And then we have the grass.  Hubby spent all day last weekend mowing out the front of our place.  It was his one day off here at home.  It is too thick and half is under trees so too hard for me to do.   I'm starting to think that poisoning that area is the way to go.  This time of the year he is too busy with work and I hate that he needs to spend his time off doing that.  I have other things for him to do!!    He also mows the dam area which is too big of an area for me.  I can sometimes get the area around the house completed, sometimes the girls come and do it for me.   The edges though, they could do with a dose of poison too.   Keeping the grass from them is stopping me from doing other things.  Like sitting in the sun and reading, going for a walk, riding the bike, being on the know, the good stuff.

As I get older and more sore I am getting more tempted to do what I don't want.  The simple life really isn't so simple. 


  1. Ducks and goats...LOL...ducks in the garden and goats staked under the trees.

    The guy may be confused about the food grade. There are only two kind goes in pools and not for your use. The other kind is food grade, used for nesting places and other animals beds, and for putting in grains and beans to keep pests away. If he is rural, is he selling to that many pool owners that he stocks it in his business?

    The stuff I buy is food grade. But, the guy said it was not. He said people use it to feed their animals, keep down bugs in litter, dust chickens. So, it IS food grade, he just does not know it. If it were the other kind, the pool kind, my hens would have died.

    Anytime you poison the grass, won't the residue spread to the food area and chicken area? I don't blame you or your husband for not wanting him to mow all day on his day off. But, the loss of grass will cause erosion. Grass helps keep the moisture for trees, too.

    You can use a poison from your kitchen...
    In blender:
    3 hot peppers
    Blend with cup of hot water.
    Let stand overnight
    strain through fine cloth

    In a quart of water add:
    1/2 cup of above mixture
    2 Tbsp Dawn dishwashing liquid
    2 Tbsp oil of any kind.

    Spray on plants.

    I used a quart spray bottle, but you probably use something larger. My friends who have orchards use only this for their fruit and never have bugs.

    There is something called BT that people use, some sort of fungus or something.

    For goodness sake, you have to be able to sit in the sun and read!

    Goats and ducks...put them to work! Okay, my advice to you that I will probably not

    How are the baby chicks?

  2. What about just mulching that whole front area with 6 inches of bark mulch? Sheet mulching it first with cardboard? Or are you not allowed to cause it's on the verge?

  3. My neigbour put me onto a non-toxic fruit fly trap mix, he swears in the last three years his fruit fly went from outrageous to very minimal, he thinks the trick is to start earlier than you think and leave the traps later.

    We are trying it this year - fingers crossed!

  4. It's just all too hard!!!!!!

    OK, not really but...We did have a sheep to keep the grass down but he ate the trees and many many years ago we had a goat, it kept getting away but it too ate the trees...and then it died. Snake bite we think. The foxes got all our ducks and I'm not **allowed** to get more as I have too many chooks.
    The Rural guy doesn't sell the DE but he was the one that said we needed the one they didn't use in pool filters. I should look elsewhere but am rarely elsewhere. Should write myself a note and stick it to the steering wheel.

    Lisa, any chance of a recipe. My traps caught a lot but there must have been too many last season. I put the traps out as soon as the weather warms up. Tomorrows first job.

    And mulching out the front? I have given all my boxes away. lol. I have thought about it but the grass does grow through, We tried that out the back.

    Thanks for that recipe Linda. I have used a similar one.

  5. Anonymous, are you Barb? LOL Yes, I have heard goats and sheep eat more than you want them to. I think that is why they are staked so they cannot reach your prized things.

    Yes, you do need the one NOT used in pools. How about an internet search for suppliers in your local area. Or, if that fails, just start calling places that have chicken food or farm type supplies. Then, you could drive.

    Maybe you should not ask for food grade, because the guy I bought from said they did not carry food grade, just the stuff for hen houses and animal use...grrrr...okay, just give it to me, now!

    Who won't allow you? Husband? Well, poo, when you bring them home, he will love them. Let one little ducky give him a kiss as the others win his heart swimming in a pool of water.

    Okay, here is a bizarre method I heard. Catch a bunch/cups of the offending bugs, whirr them in a blender with water, strain and use the liquid to spray the trees. Gross? I would have to have someone else blending bugs.

  6. Hi Barb...
    I found this recipe on the Gardening Aust forums while trying to help a family member out with a slater infestation...
    Eucalyptus oil spray

    Eucalyptus oil, like many essential oils, kills scale insects, aphids, earwigs, slugs, slaters, whiteflies, mites and many other pests. It is a non-residual spray, best applied around seedlings and at the base of plants.
    To make the spray, combine 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus oil with 500 ml of soapy water. Generally speaking a solution of about 2% eucalyptus oil in water is considered a good general-purpose insect spray. You can repeat the spray every three days.

    Hope that helps some...

  7. Thanks for that Rob, that sounds easy enough, even for me.
    If I have any EO here I will try it during the week.

    I have found a source of DE too. Right here in my hometown, a chookbreeder sells it from her house. So simple when you know...