Hot and dry in the greenhouse ? this creates the favourite living conditions for the Red spider mite ( or more correctly known as the ‘Two Spotted Mite‘ ) which is actually more of a pale colour with two dark spots on its back – they only turn red in colour when the hibernate in late autumn.
A slow moving mite when compared to its predator ” phytosellius” which is a smaller pear shaped mite that is – weirdly -coral red in colour.
The speckling above is one of the first signs and a call to action . At this stage the problem can be cured using predators available by post or with an organic spray such as ‘Plant Invigorator‘ .
When the cobwebs above start to appear you may be too late for a simple remedy and sacrificial pruning may be the only way forward.
These cobwebs will cover the tips of young shoots, often bending the tips downwards and almost ‘dripping’ with mites. Your best answer is to prune out all you can and then start regular sprays with an organic spray to wash the plant clean, if it is in a pot remove the plant to the garden and hose it down – Red spider mites do not like getting wet.
Regular seaweed sprays such as ‘Seasol‘ will also help by strengthening the leaves.
There are no chemicals that work effectively for amateur use.
On this under side shot you can see the tiny mites- just !
Already it is early August and the new Nursery site is leaping ahead or perhaps I should say ‘flattening down’ as we prepare the new container plant standing area ready for our September move date. The JCB has churned, rattled and scraped, removing some enormous concrete lumps leaving us with a now level site. Some sand is next as we create a 1200 sq meter ‘beach’- alongside the same area of shiny pea shingle, all fine tuned with the laser level and soon to be covered with capillary matting.
All our water will be captured, recycled and filtered through a ring well ,which also collects rainwater from every possible roof surface we can find .Once the containers have had their trickle irrigation for breakfast all the run off drains through and back to the start again. Moves are afoot to generate onsite power too ,though that may be awhile yet !
The phone lines are in and working – so if you fancy a chat on fruit – or some advice – our new number is 01986 895555 but do not ring it until the 5th September -ish !
As always in life some things get rescheduled and shuffled around to suit, but we are getting into shape.
To give you a few clues the shiny silver bit is the new packing shed and the vast flat area in front will be plant standing for trained trees ,fans, espalier and the like. The hideous yellow box will be a temporary office once we have painted it a more appropriate shade.
Propagation areas and more growing space to come ….Our view from the office is sublime ..tranquil Suffolk marshes as the Waveney valley stretches away into the distance.. gosh must get some work done !