Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chinese Gooseberry and Cherries under Siege

These little fellows turned up last year on my Chinese Gooseberries toward the end of the harvest.  This year they are back with a vengeance, with no obvious predators around to eat them.  Normally I like to leave my pests alone and hope they don't do too much damage before their enemies arrive, this technique has worked perfectly for my aphid infested maple which has been cured of its sap sucking varmints by a swarm of ladybird larvae. 
Unfortunately these 3 lined Potato Beetles are ravenous beasts that nearly killed my plant last year, and have already destroyed a great deal of developing fruit this year. Little Bowerbird helped me pluck and dispose of all we could see - which was many - in a jar of soapy water, but they are back again in serious numbers the following day. Fortunately little one is a keen pest controller, relishing in the crunch of snail underfoot and the farewell plop of a beetle. Anyone know any other organic control methods?  
  My running mutato.
 Why you should not plant carrots as seedlings.
 Hairy carrots, we have had a spate of these masculine fellows.

 Tasty perfect baby carrots, middle one plucked some pretty classy larger ones for dinner tonight when he refused to eat any of the vegetables in our stir fry. I am in awe of those perfect supermarket carrots at $1.50 a bag - how is it so?

 There are lots of cherries on our two year old tree but they are also under serious attack.  They are covered in black aphids.  Isn't it amazing what can happen when you turn your back from the garden for a few days? The odd ladybird was spotted doing their best, but they were losing the battle, and I've sprayed them with soapy water and removed the worst affected seriously distorted leaves.  The aphids have taken a liking to all the new tip growth so the cherry has had an  early prune. Some of the aphids ended up in our praying mantis house and were gobbled up amazingly fast.

What Spring pests are wreaking havoc in your garden?


  1. Oh, no! We had black aphids on our cherry tree last year and being such a whippersnapper, it sadly didn't survive. Good thing you are onto it early and have a ravenous praying mantis to feed!

    Still the usual aphids here..although I did spot two ladybirds mating the other day on the parsley, so fingers crossed. Also we have a flattish looking green beetle that is all over the raspberries..looks like it's laying eggs on the fruit. Any ideas?

  2. Hello Kirsty,

    You have a lovely blog.

    I am glad to see I'm not alone in being under siege from bugs. I have these horrible little hairy caterpillars demolishing one of my varieties of fig. I've been ripping off the offending sections of leaves and throwing them to the chooks to deal with. I also noticed a lot of bronze orange (stink) bugs on my citrus.

    All of that rain we had last summer is coming back to bite us on the bottom I fear!

    I remember once on Burke's Backyard or something they said you could use an old vacuum cleaner to suction the bugs off, if you didn't mind looking like a bit of a lunatic in the process.

  3. Poor poor gooseberries!
    Just wanted to let you know that at TODAY AT PLAY, part of EARLY PLAY AUSTRALIA, is hosting their first ever Link Up.
    Thought you might like to know as you are one of the followers. Thanks.

  4. We have two pests at the moment called Bing and Leroy. They like to get into the pots, eat the roses, dig up the garden beds etc etc. And if it's not them, then it's our friendly neighbourhood possums.

  5. I have exactly the same problem - beetles (that I now know to be potato beetles - thankyou) on my Cape Gooseberry and black aphids but mine are on the garlic. I blasted the garlic with water and it seems to have dislodged most of them. Those beetles though are horrible aren't they? I have sprayed with Pyrethrum but it hasn't really done much and I've picked a few off but clearly I need to deploy the kids the resolve the situation. I just spent tody explaining to the littlest one that we don't hurt the creatures though....he was about to give a spider a whack at the time.

  6. Christine, death well that's serious, little varmints - they're back after my first spray so may have to deploy more serious control for those nasty black aphids - much more vicious than your regular variety. Not sure the hose would work Liz as the leaves really curl around and protect them. Not sure about flattish green beetle, doesn't sound good?

    Thanks Michelle, yes I think our plants are extra tasty because they have so much soft new lush growth. Vacuum would be very fun, will have to keep an eye out for a portavac.

    Vintage by Lou Lou. Possums and rats here too. Bing and Leroy sound bad, our dog is old and the worst damage he does is poo in inappropriate places. We have used sticks stuck in like forts around a plant when he was younger with some success.

    Liz, pleased I helped with the ID - they didn't much respond to the organic spray I gave them last year either. My 2 year old seems to get the concept that some bugs are bad while others are good and can be very gentle with the ones we like although we're still working on that one.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young