Category Archives: help blog

‘I have a TERRIBLE infestation of aphids all over my pumpkins, courgettes, and cucumbers.’

Full question:
I have a TERRIBLE infestation of aphids all over my pumpkins, courgettes, and cucumbers. I have had to pull out the pumpkins because it was like a carpet all over the back of the leaves. I have sprayed with the soapy water several times. Is there anything that can be done or should I just pull all the plants out?

Our response:
Spraying with neem oil will do the job. Spray all over your plants, lifting up the undersides of the leaves – 3 times, 3 days apart each time, in the evening.
No need to pull your crop out. This should do it.
Have you got any flowers nearby? Flowering plants attract the beneficial predators which will deal to the aphids, so always a good idea to have either a bed of flowers (which we call an insectary) near your veges or flowers planted in and around the veges.
All the best!

‘What can I do to prevent guava moth attacking our feijoa tree this year?’

This is a tricky one. We understand there isn’t a specific solution yet for the guava moth.
What seems to work is having a lot of beneficial insects around the trees. Plant herbs and flowers that attract beneficial predators near the trees – things like borage, alyssum, hyssop, sage, lavender, and echinacea.
If you spot guava moth this season, you could try spraying a mix of neem oil and water all over your fruit trees including the fruit. It works best when sprayed on developing fruit.
And if you do get an infestation, then infected fruit should be removed. Don’t put them in your compost, as this will allow them to continue breeding on your property.
Finally, keep your trees in good health as healthy trees are usually less likely to be attacked.

‘We are about to build our first green house using recycled windows. Is it best to sit the house on a solid surface?

Full question:
We are about to build our first green house using recycled windows. Is it best to sit the house on a solid surface i.e. concrete or paving? I understand this will give thermal mass making the house warmer. A solid surface will also make it easier to sweep out and keep clean.
Or is it better to site it on a dirt floor and therefore be able to grow some plants directly in the soil to get the benefit of the soil bacteria. Is growing in very large pots as beneficial as growing in the ground?
The house will be fairly small 3m x 2m.

Our response:
Growing in the ground will always be better than in pots. A solid floor may warm up more quickly but it can also cool off quicker than soil.
You could consider a concrete strip in the centre as a walkway which will help make the house warmer. 🙂