Thursday, January 24, 2008

Silly gardening questions

Another hour weeding and another 2 fruit trees weeded and mulched. 4 to go!

I have a young guy coming over shortly to do some weeding for me - he's from LETS and trying to earn "mollies" (the LETS currency) in the school holidays for some driving lessons. I'll put him to work on the path - we have 4-5 ft weeds growing in it, it's like a jungle!!

Some silly questions -

* Does blood & bone lose it's goodness? I found some stored under the house from who-knows-when, I'm assuming it will be no good any more? What can I do with it?

* I want to grow strawberries under the fruit trees (a la Jackie French's suggestion). Looking through the Digger's catalog they have bare-rooted strawberry plants. I guess that's the same as when you buy a bare rooted fruit tree, but is there anything special you have to do to plant it?

* Any suggestions for dealing with ants in the garden? We have green-head ants all through it - and they STING when they bite (and throb for hours after). It makes gardening a real hassle...

I'm sure I'll have more silly questions later!


molly said...

One rather unfortunate method of eradication is equal amounts of plaster of paris and sugar scattered around the nest. You get the drift as to how this would affect them. Never tried it myself (I think its too cruel) but I hear it is very effective. (Keep the kids and pets away)

Alternatively I believe there is a pesticide manafactured to control them, ask at your local hardware/handyman store to see what they have.

Hope you find a way round them!


Ali said...

hi Kez ~ I don't think the blood and bone will be too old to use, was the bag/container sealed??

With the strawberries just plant them as you would a potted plant. I bought them like that last year and they grew perfectly :)

I'm not sure about the ants but I know what the stinging bite is like :(

Ali said...

p.s. and your questions aren't silly :)

Crazy Mumma said...

As they say in the classics, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask ;-)

As Ali said, I doubt the blood and bone would be "off" unless it's had water leaching through it? If it was in a sealed bag it will be OK I reckon.

Ditto Ali on the strawberries.

As for the green heads (ouch!), check out this organic ant control page from Greenharvest, for some useful tips. Hope it helps.

Cheers, Julie

Kez said...

Thanks guys.

Molly, that sounds a serious way of eradicating the ants!! Thanks!

Ali & Julie - I think the top of the bag is opened but it has been kept dry. I'll give it a go anyway! I was just unsure if it's potency would be affected.

Julie - will go and check that site out now.

The Tin House said...

Kez, the worst that can happen with the blood and bone is it won't be a great fertiliser...nevermind. If you are still in doubt, you could throw it in a worm farm - they'd love it. Re: ants - when we get a problem infestation somewhere the kids might play, DH pours used sump oil from the car down the hole. I know, I know - but it sends them packing elsewhere.

Joy said...

Hi Kez, I wouldn't worry about the blood and bone, just use it anyway. It will still help the earth.
The strawberries under the fruit trees sound like a great idea. I should try that!
I heard that pouring boiling water down the ant holes works, but of course it doesn't get rid of them completely. I've also heard of pouring vinegar down the holes.... no fun at all having big ants :(