To frame or not to frame.
We don't recommend frames for our nets, we'd rather see people gather and tie the nets to the trunk for a guaranteed seal. Yes you then need to remove any fruit that might touch the net as that provides a temptation for all comers, but usually its not too many. If you do decide to build a frame for your net, be aware that if the fruit tree has been exposed to fruit fly, Codling moth etc previously, then their larvae will have wintered in the ground and you will need to treat that ground unless you want a fruit fly nursery inside your net.
All trees respond well to a regular pruning but some people hate the idea, asking for bigger nets, and many others are happy to prune but don't know how much to take off. We've turned to an Orchardist for some general advice which will suit most fruit trees.(obviously not all) here it is. Keep your trees pruned to roughly the height you can reach to.(this will allow you to pick fruit without risking damage to yourself by climbing). The important thing to understand is that the further the tree sap has to climb, the less sweeter and smaller your fruit will be. Take note of any orchards in your area when you get a chance.
Don't waste money on these!
1) White oil: make your own 50/50 olive oil and detergent, one part of the mixture with nine parts water. 2) Magnesium fertilizers: just use Epsom salts. 3) Potash: If you have a wood fire heater or burn off the occasional green waste, use the ash (it's potash) for your fruit trees, they love it. 4) Snail baits/traps: spread your wood ash around your veggies it clogs them up and they die. 5)Fruit fly traps.they do not eradicate fruit fly, they just tell us there are fruit flies around....well we already know that. Use a small mesh exclusion net, it's the only way. 6)Mildew fungicides:The best treatment is a mix of milk and water, one part milk, nine parts water.
snails and slugs
Don't waste money on copper rings or copper tape, it doesn't work. best and cheapest solution is bran from the health shop or wherever you can get it. It clogs them up a treat. yes you do have to replace after rain, but much cheaper than copper. Ash from your wood fire heater is also great.
melons and pumpkins
re-use the black pots that you buy plants or trees in. cut a small'V' in the top at opposite sides, then upend over the top of your melon/pumkin. Jab a few holes in the sides of the pot for airflow, knitting needle size is good. Place a Brick or other heavy object on top. ensure that the vine feeds in and out via the 'V' slots you made.
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