Summer gardening roundup
Ring meat 0800 466464 (Palmerston North 3570606) Emailwallyjr@gardenews.co.nzWeb site www.gardenews.co.nz
tomatoes are securely staked. Heavily fruiting branches are also prone to wind bashing so secure or provide shelter rather than lose the fruit.
Tomato destroying psyllid nymphs are so small that a strong magnifying glass is required to see them, ideally 10X. On Trade Me, there’s a three-piece jeweller’s lens kit Loupe magnifying glass set for only $14.24 with magnification of 3X, 5X and 10X. The price includes shipping from UK, so a real bargain while handy for checking foliage for small insects. At 10X magnification, plain-looking foliage becomes a whole new interesting world.
Often gardeners do not pick up on the first signs of infestation, and by the time they do there are already large populations doing a lot of harm and much more difficult to control. Being able to spot pests early and deal to them immediately is a boon.
Some years ago, I suggested that glyphosate was most likely to do more harm to the soil, animals and humans than any other commonly used agricultural chemical. Evidence is proving me correct, and now countries are waking up to the health problems the chemical causes.
Monsanto has been struggling for investor confidence following the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency declaration in March 2015 that the world’s most widely used weedkiller – glyphosate – is a ‘‘probable human carcinogen’’. Monsanto recently announced that sales in its agricultural productivity segment, which includes glyphosate based Roundup herbicide, fell 34 per cent to $820 million, with shares falling more than 2 per cent as a result.
So, if Roundup is unsafe, how will we control weeds? The same way we did before Roundup was invented. I have not used any herbicide chemicals for over 20 years. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that a preliminary risk assessment of Imidacloprid shows that chemical poses a threat to some pollinators.
Imidacloprid is one of four neonicotinoid pesticides that honey producers and environmentalists have long suspected as being linked to declining bee populations and colony collapse disorder in North America.
Pollination by hand is advisable to ensure fruit set in cucurbits such as cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini.