Pests & feeding edibles

Winter is the ideal time to get stuck into your edible garden.  The cooler temps allow you to have a solid garden workout without raising a sweat.  So, what’s top of the list? 

In the backyard orchard it’s pruning.  Many fruit trees are deciduous in winter, like pears, apples, plums and peaches, making structural pruning jobs that much easier; you can see your trees form without its foliage.  So why prune?  Pruning encourages new growth, and keeps trees vigourous, floriferous and fruitious!!  Start by removing any dead, diseased or rubbing branches.  Once these cut out using a sharp pruning saw, then shorten any tall branches.  It’s no use having fruit on branches you can’t reach, so reducing the height of your tree will help you access your crop.  Once you have pruned, applying lime sulphur to those bare stems gives your plants a good clean up.  It burns off any scale and spores.  Copper spray are also useful at the beginning of leaf fall, and then again as they are about to burst.  This helps control a range of bacterial and fungal infections on deciduous fruit trees and vines like grapes.

In the vegie patch, excluding cabbage moth with fine netting is probably your easiest approach to keeping those caterpillars of your greens.  Other options include using a bio-insecticidal spray called Yates Nature’s Way Caterpillar Killer that is based on Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, which is derived from beneficial bacteria found in soil, on plant surfaces and also in insects. It specifically targets caterpillars and is safe for beneficial insects such as ladybirds and bees. It is also a great time to work in some well-rotted manure, some lime, and also some mushroom compost and blood and bone.  This will prime your soil ready for spring planting.

If you’re confused or want to know more about your edible garden, come in and ask our experts at Eden Gardens.  We love helping you grow your own.