Archives for category: pest control

Baby Sting bugs on Victoria Plum leaf, coming out from eggs
I was dreaming of eating appreciating the young fruits on my Victoria Plum tree when I noticed some strange lumps on some of the branches (2 photos down). When I poked them, they fell off and left a white powdery substance on the branches. To my horror, they were actually scale insects!

According to Royal Horticultural Society, scale insects are sap-feeding pests with shell-like coverings which are attached to the bark. They like choosing young branches as their bark is thinner.

Victoria Plum
I have been growing this Victoria Plum tree for 6 years. It was about 2-3 years old when I planted it. It has only given me a handful of fruits. But this year, after my neighbour chopped down her nearby 15m tall tree, the Victoria Plum has been maturing fast! I have never seen so many fruits on the tree before and I am not going to let these scale insects weaken my chances of having yummy and juicy plums!
Continue reading about how to get rid of scale insects and stink bugs >>

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My garden is frequently visited by my neighbour’s cats. (I like cats. My sister has 4 cats and my cousins like putting hers in cute fancy dresses!) Last year, one of them started to poo in my garden. I embarked on a battle to stop him from doing so. I have tried many techniques; some based on the principles of sound, smell, novelty and contact and failed most of the time. It was a bit like the movie Catch Me If You Can, except that I was no Leonardo DiCaprio (Frank). I was more like ‘Carl’, the FBI bank fraud agent (Tom Hanks), who kept trying to catch Frank, the Conman, but was always a step behind. Every morning, the first thing I did was to roll up the blind and check if the set up has worked. Sometimes, I was amused by how clever the little cat was! A year on, I am happy to declare that I have won the battle! Here is how I found the ultimate solution against cats fouling in my garden.

My neighbour's cat
General notes:
1. Always remove the cat faeces from the soil. It is not a good fertiliser.
2. Cats like going back to the same spot to make a poo. Clean the area with soapy water helps reducing the smell they are familiar with and makes it less ‘inviting’.

SOUND
The concept of this is to generate sound Continue reading about the tested methods to stop cats from fouling in your garden >>

I love it when it rains as it saves me from watering my plants. Though one annoying thing that comes with the rain is slugs and snails- they eat my crops!!!

If I see a slug, I usually use salt to kill it. But it is not an effective way to protect my crops as I have to stand in the garden and wait for the slugs and snails to show up.

The traditional way to kill slugs and snails is to put beer in a jar and use it as a trap. Though I had a friend who mistakenly poured beer into the soil and drew all the slugs and snails to her plot instead. (!)

For a more effective approach, I use Growing Success’s Advanced Slug killer. According to the manufacturer, it is certified for organic use and is safe for using around edible plants, children, animals and wildlife.

I usually scatter the pellets around the crop during late evenings or early mornings when slugs and snails are most active.

The pellets contain ferrous phosphate (iron phosphate – which is an organic compound) and a bait, thus making them attractive to slugs and snails. The slugs and snails are attracted to the bait, ingest the pellets and then crawl away to die, leaving no dead slugs or snails around and no unsightly slime. I like the fact that the uneaten pallets break down rapidly to iron and phosphate which are nutrients to the soil.

The pallets are light blue in colour. If they end up getting onto your crops, you should be able to recognise them easily.

I usually get my pallets from Captial Gardens. £5.21 for 750 gram (treats up to 155 sqm). It is a bargain!