Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Protecting your fruit trees from pests

Apple Box # 4

Ben Silverstone

We've all had moments of jealousy when luscious fruit appears at Crop & Swap, and we wish we could bring the same but the pests get it first. Well Ben has given us some tips on how we can be 'that guy' or 'that girl' smugly rocking up. Just think of Mike and Sue with their luscious plums or Eduardo's flavour packed strawberries - well that could be you!

Ben's top 10 tips on how to build an exclusion to protect your fruit

  1. Use exclusion just after fruit has formed
  2. Reuse old polystyrene boxes from the fruit and veg shop
  3. Cut large holes in box or poke holes in box for air and to allow light in and water to drain out
  4. Use fly screen or better still use stockings and seal the large holes you have cut and seal the top opening of the box
  5. Cut a line down one end of the box
  6. Slightly open box along this line (do this carefully so as not the break the box) and slide branch into box. The polystyrene will close around the branch and hold (may have to pack some leaves in the slight opening along the line)
  7. Close stocking over top of box and seal (use velcro, rivet nails etc). The exclusion will allow light and air in and keep out pests including fruit fly
  8. Using old wire coat hangers and stockings also works well for some fruit trees
  9. Many exclusions need to be adapted to the type of fruit tree
  10. Ask me at next Crop & Swap if you have any questions!

I've found this approach to be fruitful ;-)