Edible garden: Summer assault

By Janice Marriott

Summer heat means an invasion of the vege-snatchers.

Beware of slimy pests like snails which may eat through your lettuce leaves before you get a chance to. Photo / Hawke's Bay Today
Beware of slimy pests like snails which may eat through your lettuce leaves before you get a chance to. Photo / Hawke's Bay Today

Vege gardens are like horror movies at this time of year. Summer heat signals the invasion of insects and you need to be on watch, squashing, stomping, crushing, drowning as you glide through the beans, tomatoes and herbs, gently smiling.

You can put broken eggshells around plants to deter snails but how many eggs does a normal household go through?

Not enough to deter snails.

Check each plant, the shoots, the fruit, and the favourite hiding place, the undersides of leaves.

Folded-over leaves can mean the leaf-roller caterpillar is playing a starring role.

Tiny yellow eggs can mean aphids or caterpillars.

Get the kids chasing white butterflies with a butterfly net, or drape netting above your precious cauliflowers.

The kids will enjoy picking caterpillars off leaves and plating them up on the bird table.

A new idea is to cut white butterfly shapes out of icecream container plastic and scatter these decoys around. The real butterflies see them and think that particular parking spot at the food market is occupied and they fly on by.

Aphids can be squashed by hand.

If you can't stomach that, they also hate being washed with soap so spray them with dishwashing liquid.

That'll deal to them and it's a clean death.

- NZ Herald

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