Another Thursday, another list of searches that led to this blog. It’s a holiday here in Germany but the stock market is open and Stefan actually has to work. We were hoping to use the day to get some things cleaned up in the garden and do some work with the plants but that will just have to wait until the weekend. On to the searches…
- pictures of hagebau stores
- loofah gardening
I can only assume this was someone trying to find information about growing your own loofah (or luffa). This is something I hope to expand on quite a bit more in the future and we would really like to try but won’t be doing this year. We haven’t even found anyone who sells the seeds at this point.But it doesn’t seem that there could be much that is easier to grow. You should start the seeds in peat pots about 3 weeks before you plan to move them outside and they should be moved after the last frost. Plant them in a sunny area near a fence or build a trellis or stand for them since they can get heavy and grow like other gourds, zucchini or cucumbers. Help them grow up the fence and water them regularly. Nature will more or less do the rest. Any fruit that develops rotten spots or holes should be removed as you won’t be able to dry it. At the end of the summer or early fall the fruit should begin to loose weight which means they are getting ready. Leave them on the vine as long as possible but should you leave them on until the first frost, be sure to remove them afterwards. Not all fruit will mature completely but if it is finished the outer shell should just break off. Then you will want to clean them before using them.
- getting ready to pour a foundation
We followed the instructions found in this guideto prepare before pouring the foundation. Essentially what you need to do is first build a wooden framework for the foundation which the concrete will be poured into. This requires you cut 4 boards to the correct sizes for your desired foundation and then attach them together, checking for proper right angles, measuring the diagonals to make sure they are the same lengths and then adding a support board on top of the structure to help hold everything in place. Then you need to put the framework on level ground or, if you had our problem of where everything slopes, you need to dig down or bring up the edges so it is level. Finally, you dig a trench of dirt out from inside the framework which will provide extra footing for the slab.This was our finished framework
- caterpillars are eating my gooseberry bush
This is thankfully not a problem for us so far. I would be less surprised if slugs started eating them. We did cover them with some bird netting yesterday just for added protection so they don’t all disappear as they did last year.I searched for more information about gooseberry pests and found that they actually have their very own gooseberry sawfly (Nematus ribesii) which also attacks red and white (but not black) currents. How lucky. According to Garden Organicyou have a few options but the best is generally removing the pest by hand.The time to catch this pest is when it is still small and feeding low down inside the bush. Inspect bushes carefully in late April, and again around early June, early July and late August/September, as these are the times when new generations will be hatching. Yellow sticky traps hung in bushes in early spring are useful for both control and monitoring of sawfly. Crush any eggs and larvae on the underside of leaves, or remove the entire leaf if heavily infested. It helps to look out for leaves in the centre of the bush with the characteristic “pin-holed” appearance, as this indicates newly emerged larvae. If the pest has already moved to the outer areas of the bush it may be too late to do much. The larvae should still be picked off by hand, or sprayed (see details below) to reduce future generations. If sawfly are a recurrent problem, growing the bushes as cordons allows easier access.
Remove mulches in late autumn/winter and cultivate lightly round the bushes to encourage birds to clear up the cocoons in the soil.
If there are too many bushes to remove the larvae by hand, spray with derris as soon as small larvae have been found. Take care to spray the undersides of leaves towards the centre and lower regions of the bush; not an easy task but the only way to be successful. Spray again 2 weeks later if necessary. To be effective, the spray must hit the larvae not just the leaves.
Wikipedia also has some good information about other pests and how to control them on gooseberries.
- grill buddies
It’s that time of year again and I guess that is bringing out the searches for bar-b-que carts. I discussed my favorite find for a nice cart from Lowe’s projects but since it’s not completely perfect I figured I would look around a bit more. Shop Smith Hands On’s Rollaround Barbeque Cart (This link wasn’t working before so I hope it will work eventually because this seems like a great article and may be ideal for what we want).