8 Jun 2012
Oh, this is not good...
I know nothing about growing fruit, even so I was horrified to see that the little fruit on one of the Morello cherry trees is in an advanced state of brown-ness. This is a stark contrast to last year when I was able to snap ripening red fruit for the blog. I have no idea what might be the cause of this, so if anyone has any suggestions, they would be much appreciated.
The tree has also, rather suddenly, become infested with blackfly. The apple trees were similarly infested a week or two ago and, on the advice of an organic gardener at Camley Street Nature Park (where they grow apple trees on a moored barge, how exotic!), I mixed Ecover* washing up liquid in a ratio of one part soap to 10 parts water, poured into a spray bottle and squirted liberally over the bugs on the tree. This appears to have worked, to a larger degree. I was told that Ecover works more efficiently than other washing up liquids as it contains a plant based ingredient which covers the insect with a waxy coating, depriving it of air and, thus, life.
Whether it's the blackfly that have caused the disastrous demise of the cherries or an excess of British weather (more likely), Operation Squirt will be top of the agenda on Sunday when I return from a visit to family on the coast. I should also add that I'm not averse to a bit of manual squishing (preferably with gloves), in accordance with the advice given by Monty Don.
* Ecover is a brand of environmentally friendly cleaning products, widely available in the UK. The washing up liquid uses plant-based ingredients rather than petrochemicals which is why it's believed to work better than other liquids as an organic pest control.