Garden Notes 27th January 2018

This week in the garden :-

 

We will be repairing the bug hotel which is located in our woodland near the fruit trees and fruit bushes. This is a structure that is made up of a series of stacked pallets that are filled with twigs, straw etc and is designed to make good nesting sites for insects.

 

Bug hotels can attract a wide range of insects. Some of these insects will be predatory such as earwigs. Earwigs have a very distinctive shape and are easy to recognise. They have a forked pincer tail and as predators are good at controlling unwanted insects such as aphids, whitefly, blackfly, greenfly that can damage fruit trees and fruit formation. Earwigs are good at eating up these small sap-sucking insects.
For those of you interested in aphids you might like to develop a greater understanding of their life cycle and to know that in the right conditions they are capable of very rapidly increasing their population by means of asexual reproduction or parthenogenesis as it is also known. This means they don’t even have to spend time in finding a mate in order to increase their population, and that a large infestation can come from just a single insect! No wonder aphids are considered to be one of the world’s most effective insect pests.

 

Why study the life cycles of insects you may ask? If you would like to find out more there is a good book called ‘Insects and Gardens, In pursuit of a Garden Ecology’ by Eric Grissell an entomologist, which is all about this more hidden yet vitally important side of gardening.

 

We will be revitalising the many planters around the greenhouse to make attractive displays.

 

In the herb garden we will be carefully removing the tree leaves that have fallen upon many herb plants, as well as cutting back dead old flower heads and making way for the new growth that is just beginning to appear.

 

We will be weeding and tidying up the front borders and dividing up the big Miscanthus (our tall ornamental grass) and making a number of smaller clumps from this one large clump which we can then replant along the back of the border.

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