Archive for Homegrown Food

The Beauty of Pollination

I am back from my travels and glad to be back, having had a lovely time catching up with family and friends. Here is a quick video for you that I think is very beautiful. I hope you enjoy it…sometimes we forget to wonder at Life in all its infinite variety.

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Cherry Cordial: Packed with Vitamins and Anti-Oxidants

I posted up how to make raspberry and blackcurrant cordial; but am going to experiment this year with a new one-cherry cordial. I have a lot of cherries I put in the freezer, as I read somewhere that if frozen whole with stems intact, they will defrost just like fresh cherries to eat. They do actually, although you need to eat them pretty quickly as they do go mushy after a day. Anyway I have lots left and so this year I think I am going to use them up by converting them to syrup giving them another 2 year life span, as well as using more fresh ones when they come into season. I have just ordered my muslin to strain through, very reasonably priced on Amazon so once that arrives I shall give it a whirl, following the raspberry syrup method.

Looking around though I did find that cherries are packed with goodies to keep us healthy [which is why I froze so many last year], and I am now considering and consulting/negotiating with Granddad about possibly planting some of our own wild cherry trees. Here is the low down on how good they are for us. I always bear in mind these nasty flu viruses and like to have something handy to boost the immune system that is natural and nice from about September onwards here in the UK. Does it work? Well 3 years ago I was staying with my son and his girlfriend; when my son went down with the so-called swine flu. He and his girlfriend were wiped out with it, very very poorly; and I did not get the slightest hint of it. They were prescribed Tamiflu. I was with them before their symptoms and during the flu itself. Luck? Or my boosted Vit C and especially Vit D? I think its worth doing anyway!

  • Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments, in fact, are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, especially concentrated in their skin, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties.
  • Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Thus, consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries.
  • Research studies also suggest that anti-oxidant compounds in tart cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, aging and neurological diseases, and pre-diabetes condition.
  • Cherry fruits are very rich in stable anti-oxidant melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.
  • Further, they are also mild source of zinc, moderate sources of iron, potassium, and manganese and good source of copper. Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.
  • The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. These compounds act as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
  • Anti-inflammatory property of cherries has been found effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging action against free radicals.
  • Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin-C (1677.6 mg per 100 g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin-A (767 IU per 100 g).

Cherries

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Growing Food From Your Scraps

There is nothing like fresh veggies from your own personal garden!Obviously, we all know about the normal ways to grow plants – from seeds.  But, did you know that there are a ton of plants that you can grow from scraps?  Plants, that will in turn, produce more food. Let’s count them out – from 1 to 15…

1, 2, 3, & 4.  Spring Onions, Leeks, Scallions, & Fennel These are the ones I regrow the very most, I always have a mason jar of green onions regrowing above my kitchen sink. The technique is quite simple.  Once you are done with them (any of the above four), simply place the root end in a jar of water & it will begin to regrow within just a few days.  Just make sure to replace the water with fresh as need be.

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5. Lemongrass You can regrow lemongrass the same way you regrow the green onions.  Simply place the root ends in a glass of water, refreshing the water as needed. You will want to wait to harvest your lemongrass until it is about 12 inches tall.

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6.  Ginger Plant a small chunk off of your piece of ginger in potting soil with the newest buds facing up. Ginger enjoys non-direct sunlight in a warm moist environment. Before long, it will begin to regrow shoots and roots. Once the plant is established and you’re ready to harvest, pull up the whole plant, including the roots. Remove a piece of the ginger, and re-plant it to repeat the growing process.

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7. Potatoes  Pick a potato that has a lot of good formed eyes, and cut it into 2-3 inch pieces, taking care to be sure that each piece has at least 1-2 eyes on it. Leave the cut pieces to sit at room temperature for a day or two, which allows the cut areas to dry. Potato plants thrive on a high-nutrient environment, so it is best to flip compost into your soil before you plant. Plant your potato pieces about 8 inches deep with the eye facing up.  Cover it with 4 inches of soil, leaving the other 4 inches empty. As your plant begins to grow and more roots appear, add more soil.

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8. Sweet Potatoes You will need sweet potatoes with good formed eyes, just as you would want with a regular potato. You can bury the entire potato or use pieces under a thin layer of topsoil in a moist place with plenty of sun. When the shoots begin to reach a height of four inches you will need to replant the sweet potatoes, allowing them about 12 inches between each another. It takes about 4-6 months to grow sweet potatoes this way.

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9, 10, 11, & 12.  Romaine Lettuce, Celery, Bok Choy, & Cabbage These all are regrown by placing the roots in a dish of water. Cut the leaves or stalks off to about an inch above the roots.  Place the root end in a dish of water.  Make sure that the roots are inside of the water, but do not submerge the rest of the plant.  Place in a sunny window & spray with water 1-2 times a week to keep the top of the plant moist.

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13.  Onions Onions are one of the easiest vegetables to regrow from scraps. Just cut off the root end of your onion, leaving a 1’2  inch of onion on the roots. Place it in a sunny location in your garden and cover the top with soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist by watering when needed. As you use your home-grown regenerated onions, keep replanting the root ends you cut off, and you’ll never have to purchase onions at the store again.

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14.  Garlic You can re-grow a plant from a single clove.  Simply plant it with the root-end down. Sit the plant in a sunny window.  Once established, cut back the shoots and the plant will put all it’s forces into producing a nice garlic bulb – full of flavor & capable of repelling sparkly vampires.  You can repeat this process with a clove from the new bulb you have just grown.

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15. Pineapple To re-grow pineapples, you will need to remove the green leafy part at the top and take care that no fruit remains attached. Either hold the crown firmly by the leaves and twist the stalk out, or you can cut the top off the pineapple and remove the remaining fruit flesh with a knife. If you do not remove all the fruit parts, it will rot after planting and will likely kill your plant. Carefully slice small, horizontal sections from the bottom of the crown until you see root buds (the small circles on the flat base of the stalk). Remove the bottom few layers of leaves leaving about an inch worth of them at the bottom of the stalk.  Plant your pineapple crown in a warm and well drained environment. Water your plant regularly at first. Once the plant is established, you can cut down to about once a week. You will see growth in the first few months but it will take about 2-3 years before you are able to harvest.

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Source:

http://www.mrshappyhomemaker.com

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A Polish Secret : Raspberry Cordial

I once worked with a lovely Polish lady called Maya. She grew up and lived in Poland under what was then the Russian state control, and her story of growing up and living in that system was fascinating. Many things that we take for granted with our supermarket and shop cultures today were unavailable to them then, and one particular thing she told me about stuck with me.

She was a great advocate of raspberry syrup, which they made themselves as a home-made medicine for a fantastic range of ailments. It was probably THE thing to have at all times at home in the  family”medicine chest”. I know that it is still renowned by the Polish because even the local supermarkets like Tesco here stock it on their Polish foods shelves. But it is easy to make and quite fun too and has a shelf life of two years, so below I shall put the recipe. You will need bottles with proper stoppers to seal it, these can be bought in various sizes from mail order companies supplying home cookware. Here in the UK I use a company called Lakeland for pretty much all my requirements. Of course being glass, they are reusable. I know that raspberry leaves are also used in traditional medicines but since my knowledge of this is very limited, I do intend to cover that here. Any search of the internet will soon yield results if that interests you. The raspberry syrup can be diluted for a refreshing drink, as can the blackcurrant which I also will give details for. We all know how high the vitamin C content in blackcurrant is. Later in the year [Autumn], I will give detail as to how to make rosehip syrup, so high in Vitamin C that children during the war were given days of school where they were expected to harvest rosehips for the nation’s health. Now they still grow in the hedgerows and are a much unused and under-valued free commodity.  Certainly as a child we were given a spoonful of rosehip syrup daily as our vitamin C boost [along with cod liver oil and malt extract before going to school]. I have made rosehip syrup for the past few years as I believe it, combined with vitamin D to be a very effective barrier to these horrid flu’s that pass round the world. Who knows…but its served me well so far anyway!

Before you start always remember that you bottles must be sterilised before use, either a quick cycle in the dishwasher or a hot wash and dry them in a low oven will do it. [Same is true for jam jars, preserving jars…]

Raspberry Syrup.

Raspberry syrup

You will need:

1 kg raspberries

75 ml water

Preserving or granulated sugar.

Put the raspberries and water in your bowl and mash well. Set over a pan of boiling water for 1 hour, mashing occasionally.

Pour into a sterilized jelly bag and leave for a few hours until the dripping has ceased. Squeeze the bag and then filter the juice through a double layer of muslin.

Measure your juice and allow 400 grams of sugar for every 500 ml of juice. Now put juice and sugar into pan and boil stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Skim off any froth and boil hard for 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook though as mixture will start to set!

Pour into hot sterilized bottle and cork, or place stopper in. Leave to cool and cover cork with wax if you wish.

This amount will give about 750 ml of syrup. It can be diluted to drink, or poured over ice cream, and deserts.

Blackcurrant Syrup.

Blackcurrant syrup

You will need:

1 kg ripe blackcurrants

Preserving or granulated sugar.

Puree the blackcurrants in a food processor or liquidiser. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and leave for 24 hours.

Pour the puree into sterilised jelly bag and leave for a few hours until dripping ceases. Squeeze the bag, then filter juice through double layer of muslin.

Measure juice and add 400 grams sugar for every 500 grams of juice. Stir well until sugar has dissolved.

Pour juice into sterilised bottles, filling them to within 5 cm of the top. Cork. Wrap in cloth and stand on metal rack at base of large lidded pan. Pour in enough water to cover cork by 2.5 cm. Cover, bring to the boil and allow to boil for 25 minutes if using a 500 ml bottle. Remove from pan with tongs, leave to cool completely. Wax if desired.

As the blackcurrant syrup requires heat processing, it may pay you to make up several batches of this at same time, so they can all be popped into hot bath at same time for processing.

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Grandads Garden: June

As I have been a bit late on the last two months posts, I decided to get in early this month instead, especially since I shall be away and it might be late otherwise again…so here are the jobs for June.

It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, when pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses.”

To the poet “June rose by May dew impearled” may have been among the possible best things in the world; but in these strictly utilitarian times we gardeners and allotment holders may feel that the sight of our vegetable plot coming along nicely with a variety of crops is not only a distinctly pleasant sight but a solid insurance premium against that threatened world food shortage which has now become a reality.

The Minister of Food has told us that this will be the tightest of the war years so far as food supplies are concerned, so readers of this Guide, who are undoubtedly the “wise virgins” of the parable, will be patting themselves on the back that they did not rest on their spades, but continued to “Dig for Victory”––not only victory in the fighting war, but victory in the economic struggle for existence that will be the aftermath of war.

Taking Stock

June is the gardener’s sort of halfway house––a time for taking stock and finding out where we stand. So after patting ourselves on the back, let’s survey our plots, and assess our progress to date and the extent to which we may be a bit backward and consider what needs to be done if we are not to be caught napping this coming winter. In the first five issues of this guide we emphasised the need for planning ahead, getting our needs in good time, getting things done in good time. But gardening on paper is too easy––and it’s not so easy to put paper advice into practice when the weather or lack of spare time just puts paid to the best laid plans issued by a government department or the gardening papers.

What we gardeners have to bear in mind always is that lean period from about February until the end of May. Anyone can grow vegetables in summer––and get gluts of them; but it is those winter vegetables that need more thought and attention.

If you have been following this monthly “Guide”––with such alterations as your family’s likes and dislikes have dictated––you should have little cause to worry; but if you have so far been happy- go-lucky in your choice of crops, you still have time in June to do something to put matters right. The crops you want for next winter––assuming your family likes them all––are the green crops– –Brussels sprouts, sprouting broccoli, kale, savoys; the roots––parsnips, carrots, turnips and swedes; onions and leeks; dried peas and bean; potatoes.

It is too late to do anything about potatoes, onions and parsnips, if they are not already growing on your plot. While it is too late to sow seeds of Brussels sprouts, sprouting broccoli, kale and savoys, you can order some plants of the last three from your usual nursery or shop. Kale and sprouting broccoli should be put out about mid-July, savoys later in that month or in early August. Though it is rather late to plant Brussels, there is just the chance that you may get a fair crop if put in the plants at once.

Crops for the lean period

During July, too, you could sow a row of spinach beet that, given favourable conditions, should give you a crop of excellent green leaves next winter and right on through the spring. If you like leeks and have not sown seeds in the seedbed, you can get some plants and put them out in July.

As to root crops, main crop carrots can be sown in June to early July, swedes at the end of June, turnips in July.

The experts tell us that we need some of that precious body-building stuff––protein––in our diet. Now dried peas and beans are a valuable source of protein, and it is worth while saving some of our crops for the purpose, as well as to provide seeds for sowing next year––always assuming that we save our own seeds, a subject which will be dealt with in a later Guide. Do your saving systematically, however. Don’t just leave a few late pods on each plant, but reserve a number of plants at each end of the row.

Having looked ahead and made sure – at least in our minds – that we are not going to be caught napping in the few months from next February, let us come back to the present for a bit and concentrate on essential jobs of the month. First, thinning––and no apology is made for returning once more to this important operation. And don’t forget to keep that hoe going regularly.

THINNING

This needs to be done now practically every week. Beet, carrots, parsnips, lettuce and spinach have all to be thinned as they become large enough. Thinning was dealt with in the May “Guide” and all that it is necessary to add now is that it is a good time to apply a little fertilizer after the plants have been thinned and are beginning to grow strongly. A dressing of 1⁄8 oz. of sulphate of ammonia can be hoed in per yard of row.

TOMATOES

The May “Guide” dealt with the planting of tomatoes. To get the best results keep each plant to the main stem, pinching out the side-shoots that come in the corners formed by the leaf stalks and the main stem. Keep the plants well watered and feed them regularly with a good complete fertilizer. There are a number of proprietary brands of tomato fertilizer that should be used according to the suppliers’ instruction. Or you can use “National Growmore.” A good working rule is to apply a teaspoon per plant as each truss of fruit sets.

When watering, remember that it is useless just to damp the soil surface, for this merely encourages surface rooting. You must water well, giving about half-a-gallon to each plant. Tomato fruits are often split when the plants are given a heavy watering after having been dry. That is because the skin gets hard and inelastic and cannot expand when the fruit swells after a good watering, so it splits or cracks. So don’t let the plants get dry.

“Blight” is the chief disease likely to affect tomatoes in the open. It may attack only the fruit, but the stem and leaves may be affected as well. Intense brown or black blotches are the signs, and infected fruits often fall off the plant. The discoloured areas are edged with a downy white growth. It’s the same blight that attacks potatoes. To control it, spray your plants with a copper spray (see next section).

Take care of your POTATOES

Potatoes are growing strongly now. In most places they have been earthed up. Remember, when earthing, not to draw the soil up to a greater height than about 6 in. and do not leave a flat top or trough to the ridge. Finish it off to as sharp a point as possible. This prevents spores of potato blight from being washed down by rain to infect the tubers. Don’t try to earth up when the soil is wet.

To a large extent the danger of blight attack depends on the weather; if dry, only local attacks are likely and will not cause serious damage; given frequent spells of warm, moist weather, the tops may be completely killed by the end of July or in August. The effect on the crop would be serious if the tops were badly affected. The weight of crop would be greatly reduced; and if the disease spreads to the tubers themselves, they may rot in the ground or after you have stored them.

WHAT TO DO.

If you live within 10 or 12 miles of a large industrial centre, where the air is laden with fumes and smoke, do not spray, but seek advice locally: the secretary of your local allotment society, the horticultural committee of the council or the park superintendent should be able to help you. Gardeners who are not in areas likely to be affected by fumes from factories should, as a form of insurance against blight, spray their potato foliage with one of the copper-containing sprays recommended for the purpose. Perhaps the simplest course is to buy one of the ready-made Bordeaux powders or pastes and apply it according to the maker’s instructions. Usually you have only to mix it with water and it is less trouble to prepare than a home-made mixture. If you have a hand-dusting machine, you could apply one of the powders made for the purpose – copper-lime or Bordeaux dust. Dust needs to be applied more often than sprays, however – four or five applications should be given, allowing a fortnight each.

When to Spray

The right time for the first dusting or spraying usually happens at the end of June or early in July. Don’t wait until you see blight spots on the leaves – if you do find any, spray at once. If dusts are used, further applications are needed every fortnight; with the spray, a second application after three weeks should be sufficient. But if the blight attack is severe, a third spraying may be needed in August.

Points to Remember

You can use a stirrup pump, if you obtain a fine spray nozzle for it. > A misty spray is best, as it wets the foliage easily. > If you have no sprayer, you can use a watering can with a fine rose. > Make certain that both sides of the foliage as well as the stems are thoroughly wetted. > Choose a fine day so that the spray has time to dry before the next fall of rain. > It is much easier if you can co-operate with some friends or neighbours and spray several batches of potatoes on the same day.

Earthing up CELERY

Before you earth-up, tie the celery plants loosely just below the leaflets and remove any side growths. When the plants are about 15 in. high, earth-up slightly, but see that the ground is thoroughly moist before you begin. The second and third earthings––at three weekly intervals– can be more thorough, until finally the soil should cover the plants right up to the leaves and should slope away neatly. Don’t let any soil fall into the heart of the plant.

Are you watching out for those Pests?

Any signs of black fly yet? Some gardeners think that this pest is encouraged by broad beans, but there is no foundation for this. You may quite likely find it on your “runners.” Wherever you come across it, take the measures recommended in the April Guide. And if you are growing broad beans, remove the growing tips when the plants are in full flower. If the winds are high and the plants look like being broken, put in a few stout stakes and run some stout string around the rows.

While the April Guide deals with other garden pests that may be a nuisance in June (slugs on your lettuce, cabbage root fly and carrot fly), it may not cover some pests that may trouble you. Celery fly for instance. Brown blisters may appear on the leaves. Watch the seedlings carefully for blistered leaves, and destroy them or crush them with your fingers. Dust the plants weekly with soot to prevent egg laying. If the attack is serious, spray the leaves (both sides) with a nicotine and soap wash.

Then onion fly may also cause trouble, especially on dry soils. As a precaution dust the soil along each side of the rows with 4 per cent Calomel when the plants are about an inch high.

Feed your CROPS

Beet, carrots, parsnips and onions benefit by a dressing of sulphate of ammonia after thinning – 1⁄8 ounce to the yard run. If your carrots and onions are attacked by the fly, a similar dressing will help them considerably.

LETTUCE

Don’t forget to sow a short row of seed every fortnight to ensure a succession. And if you transplant the thinning’s from earlier rows, see that you give them a good start. Don’t put them on lumpy ground and don’t water them late on a cold evening or leave them without water at all. If the plot reserved for lettuce is lumpy and not easy to break down to a fine tilth, sift some fine soil over the surface, see that the seedlings are firmly planted and watered well at the right time until they are firmly established.

MARROWS

Although marrows are usually sown in the open towards the end of May, it’s not too late to sow in June. In a sunny corner dig in some well-rotted manure or compost and set a few groups of seed––four or five seeds to each group––about 6 in. apart and 1 in. deep. Later, thin each group to two plants, 12 to 15 in. apart. Marrows need a lot of water. Make sure they get it, particularly in dry weather.

Couple of Tips

First, as to cabbages: when you cut one, make two nicks crosswise on the top of the stump, and within a month or six weeks it will sprout again and give you a crop of tender greens. Second, if you have any grass left in your garden and are not using the mowings to feed stock or make compost, give your runner beans a mulch of 2 or 3 inches. This will help to conserve the moisture and benefit the beans considerably.

More Root Crops

The main root crops may be sown in June or early July––beet (earthly June), maincrop carrots (June or early July) and swedes (mid-June). The sowing of beet and carrots was dealt with in the April Guide, so the details will not be repeated here.

Bear in mind, too, that the above times for sowing are merely general reminders, and that gardeners must have regard to local conditions and advice from the experienced. For instance, as to carrots, in the midlands and the north, mid-June is regarded as the latest date to sow with an assurance of a good crop; while in the south and west, sowings may often be made with safety up to mid-July. Another point is that late-sown carrots are less liable to attacks by the “fly” than those sown earlier in the year.

SWEDES

Swedes are a safer crop in some districts than turnips. They can stand the cold better and can be left in the ground until after Christmas. Though there are garden varieties of swedes, the field sorts such as “Best of All” and “Eclipse” are really the best to grow.

Swedes are usually sown in mid-June (earlier in the north) in drills 15 in. apart and 1 in. deep. The Ministry’s plan provides for two rows, but don’t grow them if you don’t like them. The seedlings of field sorts should be thinned to 9 in. apart.

For those who like to try out unusual vegetables, Kohl Rabi is a useful crop to grow on very light soils where turnips are risky owing to drought or flea beetle attacks. You can still sow it in June in the seedbed, transplanting to rows 15 in. apart with 8 in. between plants. It is better, however, to drill in the ordinary way, like swedes and turnips, and thin out. Kohl Rabi should not be stored for any length of time, but should be eaten soon after lifting.

A word about Gathering Crops

Before the full spate of summer vegetables begins, a few words about gathering crops may not be out of place. Gather in the morning or evening, when they are fresh and not limp from the sun; handle them carefully, so that they come into the kitchen fresh and tempting. More important, however, is to gather crops before they are past their prime. It is a mistake to leave batches of cabbages, lettuces, peas and other vegetables until the whole crop is ready for use. So often the gardener cannot bring himself to gather his vegetables before they are fully matured, with the result that when they are ready, he is unable to cope with them all at once and many go to waste. Use your vegetables on the young side; they are more tasty, and the scientists tell us they do you more good than when they are old and tending to be tough. On the other hand, of course, don’t be extravagant about it. There is no sense in picking them so young that a whole crop is used up in a meal or two.

Man digging garden

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Grandads Garden: May

“Button to chin till May be in, Cast not a clout till May be out”

Great excitement this month. Granny is digging out her glad rags and off gallivanting to meet two of her daughters and her new granddaughter and spend a couple of days in Alnwick with them. All are proud that family history shows they are related to Anastasia de Percy…maybe they will get in for free?!!  The main day out will be Alnwick Castle, where much of the Harry Potter films were made. And there is even a broomstick lesson to be had on the day they visit. However, the “girls” are sure they know enough about all that business not to need any lessons….it is also the month of Grannies birthday and she will be a grand 55 years old.

Alnwick

This month can be fickle and fitful; sometimes sunny, sometimes stormy––and sometimes more than a bit frosty! That is the trouble with May, those killing frosts that do so much damage to our fruit blossom and young potato plants, and catch the unwise and unwary who put out their tomato plants too early and without protection. The end of May is quite soon enough for tomato planting. Too often we gardeners cling to tradition and get too far ahead with our sowing and planting, regardless of how our weather varies and how treacherous it can be.

However, May should be a busy month with all of us––so here’s hoping you will be “as full of spirit as the month of May”. And watch out for those frosts!

May is a month for many jobs on the vegetable plot and it’s not easy to keep pace with them all. Let’s just list them now and deal with them in turn. Here they are:––

Thinning seedlings; earthing up potatoes; mulching peas and beans; top dressing certain crops; sowing winter greens in the seedbed and planting out Brussels; making successional sowings of earlier crops; sowing runners and marrows; planting out tomatoes; attending to the compost heap and keeping an eye open for pests.

Now let’s say a bit about each of them:

Thin SEEDLINGS

Always try to seize the opportunity, if the ground’s fairly moist and the weather cool with a promise of warm showers to come, to thin any crops that need it––lettuce, spinach, parsnips and, later on, spring-sown onions. If these crops need thinning when the soil is too dry and the weather seems set fair, water them thoroughly before thinning and again as soon as you have finished.

This will prevent too great a disturbance of the seedlings remaining while their neighbours were being pulled out. Generally thin seedlings twice: first leaving twice as many plants as you will need; at the second thinning remove every other plant. Always pull out the weakest seedlings, leaving the strongest to grow on. Hoe between the rows, removing any seedling weeds at thinning time, and leaving the plot tidy.

Earth up POTATOES

It is important that during the period of active growth your potato plot should be hoed and kept free from weeds. If there is a danger of frost when the young plants appear, cover them lightly with soil. The first earthing up should be done when the plants are some 6 in. high, and further soil should be drawn up to form a ridge about three weeks later. But don’t cover up the leaves this time––they need all the light and air that they can get.

Earthing up helps to keep the haulms upright, and prevents the tubers from being exposed to the light, which would make them go green. Incidentally, a good covering of soil over the tubers protects them in case of an outbreak of blight on the foliage. Blight spores don’t work down the stems to the tubers, as some people think; they drop from the haulm directly on to the soil. So make your ridge as illustrated; don’t leave a very pronounced furrow at the top, into which rain may wash the blight.

MULCH PEAS & BEANS

Both peas and beans specially need moisture to produce a good crop. In very dry weather, instead of watering, spread grass mowing’s, decayed leaves or compost to a depth of 1 in. along each side of the rows.

TOP DRESS.

Very young plants, such as lettuce and spinach, will appreciate top dressing of sulphate of ammonia––about 1⁄2oz. to the yard run.

Greens for the Seedbed

May is the month for sowing in the seedbed seeds of sprouting broccoli (mid-May), winter cabbage (also mid-May), kale and savory (late May). How to use a seedbed was described in the March issue of this Guide.

Plant BRUSSELS SPROUTS

May to June is the period for planting out your Brussels.

The Ministry’s plan provides for two rows, 2-1⁄2ft. between rows and the same distance between plants. Don’t forget that the plants need a long season of growth to develop properly. If your ground is poor, you would do well to fork well into the surface, before planting, 2 oz. to the square yard of some complete fertiliser such as “National Growmore”, which is of special value to crops that have to stand the winter.

Be careful in lifting from the seedbed to see that you get a good ball of soil round the roots. Should the weather be dry, water the seedbed row the night before.

Plant with a dibber deep enough to bury the roots and stem up to the first leaves. Press the soil firmly round the plant with the dibber or your heel. If you plant in dry weather give the plants a good watering. Some gardeners practise puddling, placing soil and water in a bucket and plunging the plants’ roots in it before planting. If the dry weather continues, water the plants each day, if you can, until they are established and show signs of making new growth. Hoe frequently between rows and plants. To make watering more effective some gardeners plant in a drill about three or four in. deep.

SOW FOR SUCCESSION

Beet, carrots, lettuce and radishes (see March and April Guides for Directions)

Sow RUNNERS

Runners do best on soil well trenched and given a good dressing of manure or compost, as advised in the February Guide. Clay soils are usually too wet and cold for them. One pint will sow a double row of 50 ft.

The plants are very tender and seeds should not be sown in the open until May, though early crops may be secured by sowing in boxes in a frame or a greenhouse and transplanting later. In the open, sow the seed in double rows with 9 in. of space between the plants. For single rows, the plants should stand 12 in. apart. If you have double rows, it is an advantage for staking to put the plants opposite each other. It is a mistake to overcrowd runner beans. Seeds are best sown in a trench and should be placed 2 in. deep. Don’t forget to sow a few extra at the end of the rows to fill up gaps in the rows.

Runner beans produce best when supported by stakes or some other contraption that allows them to climb; they can also be grown as dwarf plants by pinching out the growing shoots as they appear, but the yield will not be so heavy.

Stout, straight stakes 6-8 ft. long, without branches or twigs, are best for runner beans. Stakes are inserted against each plant and slightly inclined so that they cross at the top, allowing for a cross stake to be fixed as illustrated.

During dry weather, runner beans derive great benefit from watering; in fact, drought is often responsible for the flowers dropping and failing to set. To induce a good set it may be necessary to syringe the flowers with water. Keep the beans closely gathered as they mature so as to prolong cropping.

Sow MARROWS

Choose a sunny corner for your marrows, digging in some well-rotted manure or compost into the bottom of the bed, which should be taken out one spit deep. Sow towards the end of May, placing groups of four or five seeds about 6 in. apart and 1 in. deep. Eventually thin to two plants, 12 to 15 in. apart. Take care not to let the young plants suffer from lack of water; give them plenty in dry weather and hoe regularly to keep the bed free from weeks.

Plant CELERY

If you want to grow celery (and you have not been able to sow seeds in heat), you should buy the plants ready for planting out in late May or June. Celery likes richly prepared ground. Dig out a trench 18 in. wide and 1 ft. deep, and fork in manure or compost into the bottom of it, returning the soil to within 2 in. of the level of the ground. Set the plants carefully in staggered double rows, 1 ft. apart––10 to 12 in. between plants. Water them in and give them plenty of water when the weather is dry. Dust with soot at intervals, as a prevention against leaf maggot. Earthing up will be dealt with in the June Guide.

Some people like celeriac––a turnip-rooted celery––for flavouring stews. You may like to try a row as an experiment. Plant in shallow drills 18 in. apart, 12 in. between plants. Celeriac also needs plenty of water in dry weather. Remove side shoots as they appear and hoe regularly.

The popular war-time crop… TOMATOES

Judging by the response to the Ministry’s advertisements in earlier years, the tomato is crop No.1 with war-time gardeners and allotment holders. Unfortunately, despite many warnings, some amateurs have been taken in every year by unscrupulous people who sell them tomato plants far too early for planting outside. It is foolish to hope that the danger of frost is past until at least the end of May. As with so many gardening jobs there is no fixed date for planting; it varies from about May 20 in the south-west to the end of the second week in June in the north. Little is gained and much may be lost by rushing plants out of doors a week or ten days before the weather has warmed up.

The plants do not grow away well, and if the nights are cold they turn a dark, unhealthy colour and are seriously checked. Always buy your plants from a reliable supplier. A well-grown tomato plant should be sturdy and short-jointed––about 6 or 8 in. high, with the buds of the first flower truss visible in the head of the plant. The distance between the leaves should be small and the leaves should be dark and of a bluish tinge. As a rule, plants produced in pots are best for planting in the open. Avoid “leggy” plants at all costs.

To grow tomatoes successfully in the open you must have a good site. The best spot would be in the shelter of a wall or fence facing south or south-west, because there the temperature won’t fall too low at night. The plants will get some sunshine there and be protected from the cold east winds we often get early in June. Get the ground ready well in advance of planting. Take out a trench 9 to 12 in. deep and 15 to 18 in. wide and dig in compost or well-rotted manure into the second spit.

For watering during summer get some unglazed drainpipes, if you can, and put them upright into the trench, 3 ft. apart. Then fill up the trench with the soil you took out. These pipes will let the water get to the subsoil, which it is difficult to wet by surface watering.

When you fill up the trench, sprinkle a suitable fertiliser––”National Growmore”, for instance–– over the surface: 1 to 2 oz. to every yard of trench, and mix it in with a fork.

The plants should be at least 18 in. apart in the row; if you have more than one row, make the rows 3 ft. apart. Measure and mark out beforehand where the plants should go, putting in a 4 ft. stake at each position.

Before planting, make sure that the ball of soil round the roots is really wet. If you have bought plants in pots, stand them in water for about 20 minutes so that the ball is completely covered. Drain away excess water before planting.

Plant with a trowel. When planting from pots, take care not to damage the roots when you take the ball of soil out of the pot. Make the hole about 1⁄2in. to 1 in. deeper than the height of the ball of soil. Then put the ball in the hole and pack the soil tightly round it. Make a saucer-like depression round each plant: it is very useful for watering, and the absence of loose soil round the base of the stem makes it difficult for wireworm to get in. Immediately after planting, water each plant to set the soil round it. Then watch out that the ball of soil does not begin to dry out. If it does, give each plant about a pint of water.

When you have finished planting, tie the plants to the stakes you put in as markers. Tie loosely; a good guide is to leave room for your thumb to go between plant and stake. As the plant grows, tie it again to keep it upright, and remove every side shoot that appears in the corners formed by the leaf stalks and the main stem. These side shoots are usually dealt with when they are about 1 to 1-1⁄2in. long. Don’t let them get too big; if that happens, cut them off close to the stem with a sharp knife. More about tomatoes next month.

Attend to the Compost Heap

The importance of compost was described in the January Guide, and the March issue dealt with how to make it. May is the time of the year when further materials such as waste vegetable matter, coarse grass, lawn mowing’s and annual weeds, become available for the heap. While not forgetting the needs of domestic livestock, all the waste material that can be collected should be rotted down on the compost heap.

Look out for PESTS

If you are growing broad beans, look out for signs of black fly and tackle this pest early, as advised in the April Guide. If you are growing early turnips, you may be troubled with the flea beetle. Last month’s Guide also dealt with that.

To prevent the depredations of the onion fly, sprinkle 4% calomel dust along the rows of spring onions when the seedlings are about 1 1⁄2 high; repeat about 10 days later. Your seedling carrots may suffer from the carrot fly, so apply naphthalene dust to the rows and repeat at 10- day intervals until the end of June.

Some gardeners put lengths of creosoted string about 2 in. above their carrot rows, and find this wards off the carrot fly. You will need to dress the string with creosote three times (at fortnightly intervals, beginning mid-May) for early sowings and five times for the maincrop. You can put the creosote on with a brush or take the string up and re-dip it. You must not allow any of the liquid to splash on the plants or it will ‘burn’ the leaves.

A bit about BIRDS

The nesting season of wild birds is in full swing in May. Soon the birds themselves will reach their peak of usefulness to man. Robin, wren, hedge-sparrow, song-thrush and many others will be about their business of finding food for hungry nestlings and so will be making constant inroads on garden pests. True, the song-thrush may later take small toll of your bush fruit; but, all the same, this bird is the gardener’s very good friend. Of all our birds, it is the champion snail killer; if it were no more than that, it would deserve protection and encouragement. As for robin, wren and hedge-sparrow––nobody has anything but good to say of them; in fact, there is nothing but good to say. Any or all of them may nest in gardens; if any of them nests in yours, let it nest in peace. Your interest and protection will be repaid a hundredfold.

Then there are the great tit and the blue tit. If you have a nest box in your garden––maybe even if you haven’t––you may have the great good luck to harbour a family of either species.

The last analysis of the food of these two feathered benefactors showed two-thirds injurious insects for the great tit, no less than three-quarters for the blue! What gardener would grudge such friends as these an occasional beak full of fruit?

It’s a pity to add a discordant note; but there are birds you will need to watch. The house- sparrow, it is true, feeds its young on grubs and insects and takes a good many for itself; but it can be a nuisance when green things are coming through. If you are near a wood and there are jays about, look to your peas. If there are woodpigeons, look to anything in the garden that can be eaten. But apart from these few, the birds are your friends. If you give them a square deal, they will give you something better than that, for not all your labour or insecticides will do so much to keep the garden clean. And, remember, the birds are on the job all day long.

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Grandads Garden: April

“April, April, Laugh thy girlish laughter; Then, the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears.”

Once again, apologies that we are a little late. We have just heard that we are expecting our 9th grandchild, this time it is one of the twin boys, our youngest, who is starting a family, so great excitement! And a month after our dear companion cat, “The Lady”Pushkin passed away, a big strong boy cat aged 3, called Alfie walked into our lives…literally…and has moved in. He is a short haired Persian, and this time Grandma is the focus of attention. Pushkin always stood by Granddad! Here is that latest addition to our family…who is keeping us on our toes.

Alfie

If April lives up to that reputation, she will please readers of this Guide, though we shall look to her to be judicious in her weeping. We shall want useful spells of sunny weather throughout this busy gardening month. But let us sound a word or two of warning. Good Friday is the traditional day for potato planting; but the wise gardener knows that its risky to stick to traditions: he pays more attention to soil and weather conditions. And although we shall be only too anxious to get on with arrears of clearing up; digging, seed sowing and planting, we shall find that “hasten slowly” is still sound advice when soil conditions are not right.

Getting on with the job

But once weather and soil are right, we should take time by the forelock and get on with the job– –not leaving everything to the week-end, if we can help it, but seizing any opportunity of an evening––when it’s fine––to put in a little time on essential work on the plot. Little and often will help us along far better than crowding a lot into the week-end that may turn out wet. But, of course, we may yet be far off from those happy, free peace-time evenings.

DON’T DELAY THINNING

In Spring, though, many little jobs come along that need to be done when the time is right. A few days’ delay may spoil things: thinning seedlings, for instance; a wet week-end makes the young seedlings romp away. More about thinning next month.

HOE OFTEN

April is certainly the time for using the Dutch hoe regularly and often. Hoe freely––just the surface, not deeply––between all growing crops and on vacant ground on every favourable occasion. Try, if you can, to move all ground at least every ten days when growth is active, so as to maintain a loose surface mulch and keep down weeds.

Now here are some reminders for this month:––

REMINDERS

In the first three issues of the “Guide” you were reminded about getting all your seeds in good time––your fertilisers, too, as well as pea and bean sticks. One “seed” item not so far mentioned is swedes. Though you can sow swedes as early as April, the Ministry’s cropping plan, which suggests two rows, recommends sowing in June. Swedes are often successful in districts where it is not so easy to grow carrots, and the field varieties resist the cold better than turnips. Swedes are usually sown in mid-June in the south, though in the north they may be safely sown earlier. More will be said about swedes in a later Guide.

Have a look at your shallots. You may have planted them a little too loosely and the weathering may have left them almost bare of soil. Firm them in now.

Now a word or two about tomatoes. Of course, you won’t think of planting them out until the end of May or the first week in June; but if you have not done so, you would be wise to put in your order for plants with a reliable supplier. Be warned: don’t buy plants that you see for sale much earlier than they should be. You will be disappointed if you buy them.

And what about Brussels sprouts? These need a long period of growth. If you have not sown seeds in the seedbed and you intend growing them, you should order your plants so that you are not caught napping when you want to plant them out in May or June. And now is the time, if you have not already done so, to clear away those old cabbage and other green stumps that may be taking up ground that should be cleared and dug over ready for a following crop. For one thing, these old stumps harbour pests; but, even more important, if you let them stop until they flower, you may well do harm by cross-pollination to the crops of the professional man who is growing them for valuable seed.

Now for the seed-sowing jobs of the month, remembering that a few days before sowing or planting (except on the seed bed) 1 lb. of a good complete fertiliser––”National Growmore” for instance––should be scattered evenly over every 10 sq. yds. and raked in.

BEANS DWARF AND HARICOT

The ministry’s cropping plan provides for two rows of dwarfs. The plants of dwarfs are tender and should not be sown in the open until mid-April in the south and mid-May in the north. Successive batches can be sown until mid-July. Rows should be 2 ft. or 2-1⁄2ft. apart, with 9 in. between plants. Use a dibber, or draw a shallow trench with a hoe, about 2 in. deep. If you put two seeds at each interval you can reckon on a regular stand. Pull out the unwanted weaker plant, when sufficiently advanced. A light mulching of the surface with lawn mowings, decayed leaves or compost will help to keep the plants growing.

If you grow haricots for storing, you proceed as for dwarfs, but you don’t pick any green pods. How you deal with them will be dealt with in a later Guide.

BEET

The official cropping plan provides for two rows of Globe Beet. The globe variety matures quickly and is suitable for general cultivation. It is easier to boil in the usual kitchen pot than the longer varieties––a point that the missus will appreciate. Sow globe crops in April, longer varieties in May. Drills should be 1-1⁄2to 2 in. deep and at least 1 ft. apart. Sow seeds in small clusters 6 in. apart, to avoid waste, and thin the plants to one when three leaves have formed. A few strands of black cotton stretched above the rows will protect the seedlings from troublesome birds.

CABBAGES

The Ministry’s cropping plan does not include cabbages for use in summer and early autumn, except as an alternative to runner beans in cold districts. If you have enough room, however, and you would like a choice of green vegetables in late summer, sow a row now in the seedbed (see March Guide).

CARROTS

The first sowing of carrots––a stump-rooted kind––(to provide roots for summer and autumn) should be made in early April. The storage crop is best sown in May or early June. If sown early, thinnings may be pulled and used as early carrots without harming the rest of the crop; but the ground must be made firm again after thinning out, to reduce the danger of carrot fly attack. A late sowing in mid-July will provide tender young carrots for use the following spring (April–– May).

Sow seed thinly in drills drawn 1 ft. apart and 1 in. deep. As carrot seed is small, mix a little dry earth or sand to avoid too thick sowing, which wastes seed and means a good deal of thinning. First thin in the seedling stage and keep the bed free from weeds by frequent use of the hoe. Plants should finally be 6 in. apart.

LETTUCE

Continue to sow a short row (1⁄2in. deep) every fortnight, to make sure of crops in succession. (See March Guide).

PEAS

The March Guide dealt with the sowing of peas. This is just to remind you to sow maincrop peas in April. For late crops you can sow such varieties as Little Marvel and Onward as late as June. Unless your soil is in very good heart, a top-dressing of super-phosphate––2 ounces per square yard––at blossom time helps the pods to swell.

As soon as the peas begin to make their third pair of leaves, they will be ready for sticking. Even dwarf peas do better with a little support––a few twigs are all that is necessary. Before sticking, hoe the ground beside the rows and remove any plants, as they will be more difficult to get at when the sticks are in. Don’t cross the two rows of sticks at the top, as this usually makes the plants get tangled in a mass; stick them firmly in the ground––upright. Trim the tops and put the twiggy trimmings in at the bottom by the larger sticks, so that the young plants can grasp them first before climbing on to the sticks.

POTATOES

Potato planting was dealt with in the March Guide. April is the month for planting varieties other than “earlies”.

RADISHES

Don’t forget to sow them little and often, if you like them. Sow very thinly and there will be no need to thin the seedlings. A useful idea is to sow a few radish seeds in the drills along with onions, carrots and beet. Plant one seed every 6 in. or so along the drills; they grow quickly and show you the line of the drill before the other seeds germinate. Hoeing and weeding can then begin earlier.

SPINACH

The Ministry’s cropping plan provides for inter-cropping three rows of dwarf peas with two rows of spinach, if you like it. Gardeners on light soils, however, find that summer spinach runs to seed so quickly unless they kept it well watered.

Some wartime gardeners may be a bit confused yet about spinach, spinach beet and seakale beet. Spinach may be sown both in spring (March to May) and late summer (August). Drills should be 1 in. deep and 15 in. apart. In autumn or early winter, spinach beet supplies leaves that take the place of spinach in autumn or early winter. It is also known as “Perpetual Spinach” and some people prefer it. The drills should be 18 in. apart. You can sow it in April and again in July.

Seakale beet is also known as “Silver Beet” or “Swiss Chard.” It is a dual-purpose vegetable. The leaf stems are large and white, but the leaf is green. You can cook the green part of the leaves as spinach and the white stalks and mid-ribs, stripped of foliage, may be cooked like seakale. You can sow this is in April too––drills 1 in. deep and 18 in. apart. Later on, you thin the seedlings as you would with spinach or spinach beet. With the last two, you thin out to 3 in. apart in the first instance, removing alternate seedlings after about a fortnight. With seakale beet, the first thinning should be to 4 in. apart, finally leaving about 8 in. between plants.

TURNIPS

You can sow turnips in April. But if you are following the Ministry’s cropping plan, you will wait until July, so we will deal with this crop in a later Guide.

ONIONS

Now is the time to plant out onions raised under glass. Harden the plants off gradually and plant them out in rows 1 ft. apart, leaving 6 in. between each plant. See that each bulb is set just on top of the ground and press the soil firmly around its roots.

A REMINDER ABOUT THE FRUIT GARDEN

In the March Guide we reminded you about spring dressings for your fruit trees and the spraying of your fruit bushes with lime sulphur. April is the time, so just turn to the March issue and refresh your memory.

About those PESTS

Wartime gardeners, who may have suffered badly from the ravages of pests, may well have thought that gardening is just on long discouraging fight. But the “old hands” know that is not so; they know, too, that by keeping their plots as clean as they can, and by taking early measures to cope with any marauders that may appear, they can do much to reduce their losses and keep the pests in check.

First a few wise words about what you can do to prevent pest damage before you start to use insecticides. Strong plants are less likely to be destroyed––and you only get strong plants by good cultivation and manuring. You must not expect insecticides to make up for deficient cultivation and manuring.

Another important step is to get rid of the things that harbour pest: weeds surplus seedbed plants, old brassica stumps and infested leaves. Growing the same crop on the same bed year after year also encourages pests, so that is another important reason for crop rotation. And then don’t be finicky about hand-picking caterpillars when you do find them.

Some gardeners regard all creeping and flying things as foes. That is a mistake, for they include friends as well. Let us for a moment consider some of the insects you may find under and above ground. Of the “underground” enemies, there is first the wireworm: the commonest garden foe that particularly fancies potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. It is three-quarters of an inch long and has six legs. When you find it, break it in half or squash it.

Later on in life it turns into a “Click” beetle or “Skipjack”; it is called a “Click” because if you put it on its back it jumps to it with a click. If you suffer badly from wireworm, it is worth trying to trap them. An old potato makes a good trap, or three inches of old kale or Brussels stalk split down the middle. Put these traps a few inches below ground in spring, marking the spots with sticks. You can do a great deal to rid yourself of wireworm if you set traps regularly.

But don’t mistake the centipede for a wireworm. You can tell the centipede by the number of its legs––a pair to every section of its body. Don’t kill the centipede, for it goes for your enemies–– small slugs, worms and insects. The friendly centipede moves very quickly, while the millipede– –a nasty sort of chap––moves slowly, though he has got two pairs of legs to every section, as against the centipede’s one. You cannot go far wrong if you kill the slow-movers and let the fast movers live. Anyhow, it’s death to the millepede that attacks the roots of most of your plants!

When you are getting the ground ready for planting in spring, look out for another enemy that works underground and attacks most crops––the leather jacket, the grub of the fly you call “Daddy Long Legs.” One leather jacket can do much harm to many plants like lettuce and spinach, so you must kill him wherever you find him.

When the young plants begin to grow up, they meet new enemies––the chaps that do their work above ground.

Most readers of this Guide may have suffered from black fly, especially if they have grown broad beans. These black flies harm the plant by sucking the sap and injuring the tissues; if they are allowed to go on, they will spread from the shoot to the cluster of young bean pods and spoil the whole crop.

Now the black fly’s bitterest foe is the lady-bird, but although she makes all her meals off black or green flies, she cannot cope with all of them. The black fly usually attacks the top of the plant first, just when it is beginning to flower, so pinch off the top to check it. The lady-bird won’t mind.

But if the black fly spreads despite your efforts––and the lady-bird’s––act as advised at the end of this note, where hints are given for dealing also with slugs, caterpillars, flea beetles and the cabbage root fly. But first a word or two about these other pests that may come your way.

One of the dangers of leaving a lot of rubbish lying about the garden is that it harbours slugs that will attack your lettuce, so that is an argument in favour of a clean garden, with suitable rubbish put in its proper place––the compost heap––and unsuitable stuff burned.

Cabbage white butterflies are pests of the first order. It is bad enough to have to cope with our own native butterflies, but we also have to deal with the lot that fly over from the Continent every year. They come first in the spring and early summer, and leave us their eggs before they die. The eggs are laid on all kinds of cabbage crops, sometimes on stocks, nasturtiums and other plants. They are yellow, oval and pointed at one end. You will find the eggs in batches of 20 to 100; in about a fortnight they hatch out into young caterpillars that swarm together. You can tell them by their colour––bluish or greenish black, with a yellow line down the back and yellow sides. Their hairs are rather straggly. In about a month they are fed up––with your cabbages–– and creep away to turn into chrysalides. About three weeks later, at the end of July or beginning of August, out come the butterflies which lay their eggs, and you get the second and more dangerous lot of caterpillars that do harm in August and September.

The Cabbage White Butterfly has a pal––the small white butterfly that is responsible for the velvety green caterpillars. This butterfly lays her eggs one at a time and not in groups like the “Cabbage White.” There is only one thing to do with any sort of caterpillar: pick them off and squash them. And squash any eggs you can find as well. It is a messy business, but it is worth it.

Another wretched pest is the cabbage aphis––the nasty greyish powder patches of insects that you may find on your plants. And then you may find holes in your young turnip leaves or in your young cabbages. They are the work of the flea beetle, which hops about so quickly that it is difficult to catch sight of. It eats the plant before it pops its head above the ground and keeps on with the foul work after the rough leaf appears.

Now here are the measures you are recommended to take for dealing with the most important pests that may come your way, though it is to be hoped they won’t. And remember that early action may save you a lot of bother later on.

Slug

Destroy with well-mixed “Meta” bait; 1⁄4oz. with 3⁄4lb. slightly wet bran broadcast very thinly on soil – 3oz per square rod – or dot small heaps over affected area.

Cabbage Caterpillar

Dust plants at first sign of damage with Derris dust or spray with Derris insecticide. Repeat immediately more caterpillars appear.

Flea Beetle

Dust seedlings with Deris, Nicotine or Naphthalene dust. Repeat two or three times at intervals of four days.

Cabbage Root Fly

Prevent attack by putting 1⁄2 teaspoonful of 4 per cent. Calomel dust on soil around each plant as soon as set out. Repeat a fortnight later.

Black Fly, Green Fly, Cabbage Aphis.

Spray with Derris or Nicotine wash. If sunny and warm, dust with Nicotine Dust. Destroy all old cabbage stumps before mid-May.

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