In the weekly column Out in the Garden, Mark Cox of the Baytree Garden Center talks about greenhouses and lawns…
Things have moved at a pace this week within the walls of HMP Shawshank. Me and the G-Team have settled back into prison routine and it seems the bigger boys have granted us celebrity status for our escape.
Billy talks with film producers to recreate our story under the working title of “The not so great escape”. I think it needs some work, but at least it takes Billy’s mind off the withdrawal symptoms he’s been suffering from in his attempt to overcome his pot noodle addiction.
Mr. McKay told us that if we played our cards right, he could defend us with the authorities, provided he won the coveted title of best onions at the Wardens National Gardening Show.
Mr. McKay reassigned the G-Team to work in his garden and housing estate. At the beginning of the week we spent the day cleaning his three greenhouses.
Anyone who owns a greenhouse or is thinking of buying one will know that it is very important to clean and disinfect the space regularly.
So between us we removed all the plants and started scrubbing the windows, frame and plant staging with disinfectant. We kept the doors and vents open to allow a draft before putting the plants back when finished.
It is also recommended to open the doors of your greenhouse regularly to promote good air circulation. Greenhouses, by their very nature, create a warm, humid environment in which plants thrive; conversely, fungi will also thrive due to the closed ecosystem.
On Wednesday, the team began work on Mr. McKay’s lawn. Leather Jackets and Chafer Larvae will become more active now and they will cause damage to your lawn.
These pests eat the roots of your lawn. You can tell when you are in trouble because you will see yellow/brownish patches of lawn and large creamy grubs in the soil.
Nematodes are a great way to treat these types of infestations. Essentially, roundworms are small, microscopic creatures that feed on parasites; best of all the solution is totally organic.
It is best to apply nematodes to wet grass, so apply one day after it has rained. Mix nematodes with water in a watering can and go. The treatment is pet- and child-friendly, meaning Mr. McKay’s grandchildren will be able to continue playing on the lawn when they next visit.
I had T-Dog check Mr. McKay’s roses for blackhead and aphid damage and asked him to treat it with Rose Clear Ultra. In my opinion, it really is the best product on the market right now. It’s not organic but it works.
After Friday lunch, we started checking for Viburnum Beetle larvae. They start to seriously nibble this month and if left unchecked can cause tremendous damage to your Viburnum plants.
The larvae are yellow in color with small black spots and are about 5mm long. You can either pick the larvae from the plant by hand or treat with a pesticide such as BugClear Ultra.
Although once the larvae begin to pupate there is no need to treat as the damage is already done.
Before we were done I told Mrs. McKay that she might try hanging balls of fat in and around the plant in hopes the birds would eat them and maybe catch a few larvae while they were there.