We have the usual mosquitoes and bigger black biting flies.
But worst of all we have an invisible pest that has now been identified!....I thought it must have been fleas from all the animals around.
No....I eventually caught one! , looked it up on the Internet and its..... sand flies....
Minute transparent flies that look like a small aphid size mosquito , almost clear in colour and so so small....they bite and bite and bite and you cant see them and don't feel it till 10 minutes later, they go up the inside of your trouser legs, shirt sleeves , even found them inside my socks! , You can look and not see them, go to the other end of the same patch of ground and look and there will be great balls / mini swarms of them flying round.
DIY biting insect control.... that works!!
After days of being bitten, I found an answer on the Internet...
90% olive oil and 10% Neem oil ( great as a pesticide on plants as well, I have used it on plants for years ),
It stinks, but strange not that bad and not very strong, and it works very well!
I went from 50 bites a day to a couple of bites in the last week, the flies are still there, they just don't land, nor do the other biting and non biting flies!
As an anti itch factor ( Neem already does this a bit ) , if you already have bites you can add some tea-tree oil, it cools the itching from the bites already there.
Weed Control Fabric
After having to remove so many weeds every day, I am trying some weed control fabric , it looks a little thin so light can still get through it, so I don't think it will work.....but it may slow weed growth a bit.
I bought this fabric a few years ago in Asda , reduced to 50p for a sheet 6m by 3m , I bought a load of packs but have never tried it, yet.....so I thought I would try it today.
I dug over some of the area the potatoes had been in, removed more and more weed roots, watered the area and placed the fabric over the area, held down with broken roof tiles from the barn roof removal the other week.
After putting the fabric down, I watered it again and stamped it into the surface of the soil till it was muddy, now water will run through it when it rains.
I cut a 6 inch hole for each plant to go in and stamped it lower in these areas so water would run off the fabric to pool around the area of the plants.
Then the broccoli, butternut squash and ridge cucumber seedlings were planted, maybe less weeds this time.....
|Weed Control Fabric Down, A Bit Untidy....
|Squash...or Cucumber! , 2 types mixed up....I think its the squash!
|Cucumber???? , 2 types mixed up....I think its the Marketmore ridge cucumber!
|Purple sprouting broccoli
They seem to be great!, I plant to use them for everything eventually.....but not that soon s I have hundreds of standard plant pots.
In root pruning pots, plants have no circling roots , many many more roots, a massive amount of roots inside due to continuous root pruning and new roots growing, once a root in a normal pot grows around the pot it will always grow round ,in an air root pruning pot you only get straight roots, so when you change pot size or plant out , every root is straight and ready to grow outwards, no damage to roots is needed unlike with a `normal` plant pot.
|All my citrus plants seem to be growing away well, but best results are in the air root pruning pots, like this mini Meyer lemon.
|As the roots hit the bottom....they don't!, they are guided out and pruned by the air,
The root branches and continuous new roots grow straight outward and never circle.
|You can see the root `funnels` on the side with roots just visible, no circling roots
|Sweetcorn cobs swelling, 2 to 4 per plant so far
The only work on the house today will/may be to finish plastering the kitchen
I plastered half of the kitchen.......Then I got distracted by the cut off saw and pillar drill in the corner of the room....wondering if they would run off the inverter (due to the start up load on the motors and only being a 1500W inverter.....) . If it would it would get rid of the 3 meter long bit of banister wood I bought 2 years ago , it has been in the kitchen ever since...now it was getting covered in plaster....If i made the banister it would be gone!
So....In testing the inverter and the tools, I made a new wooden banister for the outdoor stairs, doing that I noticed the mildew on some of the grapes so tried full fat milk powder on the grapevines to see if it works this time.
By the time I went back to the plaster I couldn't be bothered with doing any more