Natural insect control for slugs and snails – Diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous Earth is made from the shells of one-celled plants called Diatoms. About 30 million years ago countless one-celled plants called Diatoms lived in the sea and built protective shells out of silica. As the Diatoms died the shells drifted to the floor and built up into deposits and the shell became fossilised. When […]

Over cultivating soil in tropical lowland soils – Indonesia vegetables

I am very surprised at the amount of work going into village vegetable gardens, heading into dry season. People dig, then laboriously, hand break each clod into very very fine particles, totally losing any sense of soil structure in the top 15 cm of soil. It is like a work of art. One of […]

Grafting tomatoes

In the tropics farmers need tomatoes that can withstand a range of diseases. Grafting onto egg plant- the wild kind is a good option. There are some tips that help make this successful. For now, this is theory for me. The clips can be bought from overseas (check out Johnny seed in USA) and […]

Laminated bamboo as a rain protecting greenhouse in tropics

My good friend Jeff Gucker and others are pioneering the use of laminated bamboo for greenhouses in the tropics. Why bother with greenhouses in tropics. Excess rain really challenges growers of top quality vegetables- things like tomato, broccoli, strawberry etc just don’t like being hammered with excess rain. More information to come or email […]

Fruit tree management and vegetable garden- Ballybroom – Hororata

This aims to record what we have done with our orchard and garden and the results. 24/11/2010 Sprayed shield on apples, pears for codlin moth. Also on plums and cherries for aphid. Lots of aphid going to town on the cherries.

Last day or two, 5 tanks of roundup and dynamo- fathen dies real […]

Grape cuttings- hormone as gel or powder

Black grapes from friend MB were left in damp straw for a bit too long. HOpe they are ok. Anyway, cut across a bud- half dipped in gel – nearest metal fence. Half dipped in old hormone powder. I’ll tell you how they went once we have the results in. They are protected from […]

Quince cuttings – how to get them rooted

I have a small exercise- not really a trial, but three rows of quince cuttings. Some were soaked in 200 mm of water for a week, while another group were soaked in the same volume of water, but these had chopped up willow (young) sticks in the water, to provide hormone that should encourage […]

Protect young watermelon etc from aphids in tropics

I work on a little island in Indonesia. Wetar. We are challenged by unwise use of insecticides and many aphids really harming growth of young watermelon, rock melon, tomato etc. So here is what we have come up with- at least worth trying. Buy insect proof cloth, and set up over some simple bamboo […]

December and still needing frost protection!

December 4th, 2009 and another frost arrived. This one was hard- would have killed all pumpkin, beans, potatoes, sweet corn… However, we have an automatic frost protection unit, running off 24 volt AC power supply. So that kicked in and the solenoid controller set 4 sprinklers going. The worry then is that we run […]