Category Archives: help blog

‘I’ve planted some cabbage seedlings and they seem to be being eaten…’

Full question:
I’ve planted some cabbage seedlings and they seem to be being eaten. I thought it might be slugs and put traps out, but they are still diminishing, I’ve noticed small white fluffy?? insects on the back that fly off if I disturb them.

Our response:
The white fluffy insects are most likely what people call ‘fluffy bums’ and they’re the juvenile version of the passionvine hopper. We recommend using Neem Oil applied in the evening 3 times and each application 3 days apart. Alternatively there’s a product called Aquaticus Glow which deals with sucking and chewing insects well.

But we don’t think this is what’s eating your cabbage seedlings. We think it’s probably slugs. If you want to be sure, wrap up one night and go out with a torch and see if it is. Slugs live in the soil, so they’re hard to see otherwise. Keep up the yeast traps and also try the upturned pot idea with newspaper scrunched up inside (make sure you tip it slightly so they can crawl inside by day). During the day dispose of the newspaper with the slugs and snails in it and put fresh out. If you do this regularly, you do eventually get rid of the population.

All the best:)

‘Please explain the merits or benefits of using seaweed as a fertiliser…’

Full question:
Please explain the merits or benefits of using seaweed as a fertiliser. Plus which type of seaweed to source? Thanks.

Our response:
Seaweed is the mainstay of a healthy organic edible garden. It’s full of trace elements, something like 60 of them, thus enabling your plants to become nutrient-dense. It helps resist fungus and disease by making plants strong and healthy. Seaweed collected from the beach can be dug in or laid on the top of a garden bed like a mulch.
Foliar application of liquid seaweed works well as it’s readily absorbed by the plant through its leaves. Soil applications act as a conditioner.
Finally, seaweed comes from a sustainable source.
Kelp, the big straps, is the best as it contains more minerals, but any seaweed collected from the beach is good.
If you’re after liquid seaweed, we like the Ocean Organics brands – they do a Foliar and Soil Liquid Seaweed which we sell online…Liquid Seaweed This is just the foliar one, but we have the soil one too.

‘I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit.’

Full question:
I have managed to grow a large eggplant with lots of flowers again this year but still no fruit. The flowers fall off. What am I missing?

Our response:
Eggplants haven’t done so well this year and we think it’s because there haven’t been so many bees around this summer due to all the rain we’ve had. That will affect your pollination. You can pollinate by hand – take a small paintbrush and flick it around gently inside the flowers which will result in pollen being transferred from the stamen to the stigma. This can be quite successful.
You may be short of potassium in your soil – comfrey is full of potassium, so making a comfrey tea is worthwhile and sheep pellets have a reasonable amount of potassium in them too. Potassium helps plants to set fruit.
Also two plants are better than one – if bees are around and about, there will more chance of them doing their pollinating work successfully.
Good luck! 🙂