Wednesday 17th May 2023 - Too Bold, Codling Moths and Bug Hotel
Yesterday was definitely a day to spend in the garden. While Peter tended his vegetable plot, I planted out various plants I have been bringing on in the greenhouse but first I took out the winter pansies and bellis and removed the bulb foliage. Yes, I know, I should leave the bulb leaves until they die back but I needed the space and by removing the foliage early and leaving the bulbs in the ground, I have never found it has reduced the number of flowers the following spring. We have been watching a male and female blackbird collecting bugs, grubs and worms in our garden, before flying off to feed their youngsters. Peter remarked how tame the male bird is and yesterday, as I planted the summer bedding, he was more than happy to pick up worms and grubs I had unearthed, getting very close to me; only about 18ins/50cms from where I was kneeling. I talked to him and tossed a couple of worms in his direction, which he picked up and added to the other bugs in his beak but all the time, although I enjoyed having him nearby, I was concerned he was too bold. Today we have seen both male and female but they are not collecting bugs. I have an awful feeling their nest has been raided.
Our Russet apple tree produces good crops each year but most of the apples have damage marks, caused by the codling moth. The damaged apples are peeled, cored and frozen and last year I also bottled some. Thumbing through a gardening book, I borrowed from the mobile library last week, I saw you can buy pheromone traps to capture the moths. I have never heard of these but wasted no time and ordered a packet online. There was also a suggestion of putting hessian round the trunk, which reminded me I have sticky bands in the shed designed to trap unwanted bugs making their way up trees. I have put a band round the trunk and the traps should be delivered by this Friday. Fingers crossed, they work and we have the bulk of this year’s crop, bug free. I also picked up a tip about planting bulbs, which you want to lift rather than leaving in the ground. Use baskets to plant them in, sink these below the level of the soil and when you want to lift them, they all come up in the one container without leaving the odd one in the ground. The type of baskets suggested were plastic and will therefore, not rot in the ground. I shall now be on the lookout for cheap baskets at the Car Boot sales along with garden pots, bedding begonias, which I find difficult to grow from seed, and as I lost some of my tubers over the winter, the larger more blousy begonias. I am sure, I will find other things to purchase too.
Today’s photo is of the bug hotel Peter has constructed for me, from oddments of wood in his workshop, which I then filled. Our youngest grandson is interested in insects etc. so I wait to see what he thinks of our bug hotel when he visits at the end of the month.