Sunday, 22 January 2012

Tomatoes, pests and glue traps

  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • spring onions - 2 punnets
  • zucchini seeds
The zebra tomatoes that were weak and spindly because they were too shaded by the wattle?  Well they have enjoyed the extra sun, thickened up and are now flowering. Hopefully I will get more fruit now.

I have had a fair bit of trouble with the zebras and not just because of the shade. If you are in NSW or Qld you will know of the lovely fruit fly! It is because of this pest that I usually only plant the smaller tomatoes (cherries and this year berries as well). It seems easier to control the fruit fly on these smaller tomatoes. 
But tempted by their lovely stripy skin and my already mentioned penchant for a fashionable ‘rainbow’ of tomatoes (just like the cook books) tempted me as did the claims of their fabulous flavour.  So I committed and, in an attempt to beat the fruit fly, searched for solutions.

I don’t spray - you probably guessed that by now. We are a small household and if I lose some produce to pests or birds then that’s fine – I grow enough. So this year, tempted by gluey plastic sheets, hung these up around the patch and very soon I was catching the blighters!  There is no poison, just a sticky yellow surface and fruit fly and other pests like white fly the house fly and mozzies get stuck. I cannot say that there have not been unintentional victims -  I have had the odd lady beetle and skink get stuck - but these have been very few (can count them on one hand) and I have plenty of unharmed lady beetles doing their own type of pest control for me.And plenty of skinks running thru the leaf litter and mulch.

These glue sheets, as well as bringing the fruit in before they are too ripe,  seems to have worked for some fruit but still the zebras are much more prone to fruit fly maggots than the little ones.

I rarely buy spring onions from the green grocer (cant actually remember the last time I did).  Instead I stagger planting spring onion seedlings thru the year.  Spring onions from the garden are a treat, when you pull then from the ground their hollow leaves pop.  When you cut them they have a juiciness and they taste sweeter than shop bought ones. I guess I have three lots of spring onion s in at the moment - all of different ages to keep me in supply.  Today I planted two more punnets.

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