Helen chesnut hot water and fertilizer work for flats custard apple nutritional value

For many years, I’ve watered flats about to be seeded with the hottest water that comes from my kitchen-sink tap, mixed with a little liquid seaweed fertilizer —- about one teaspoon in each litre of water. I spray more of the diluted (tepid) seaweed solution onto the seeding mix cover over the seeds to dampen it.

Most seeds germinate best in moderate warmth. With germination, bright light, coolish temperatures and modest watering will produce the stockiest, sturdiest transplants.

Because I grow plants from seedling to transplant stage in containers deep enough (9 cm) for adequate root growth, I use a mix with some real (bagged, sterilized, all-purpose) soil added to a commercial mix.

Dear helen: coddling moth was a problem on our apple trees last year. The person who helped us prune the trees recommended hanging a trap with molasses in it on each tree, to attract male moths.

We trapped only two moths and many of our friends the mason bees.Male moths I’ve heard there is a hormone spray for this pest.

Coddling moth larvae over-winter in cocoons on or at the base of host trees, to emerge around apple blossom time as small grey moths. Females lay eggs on or near developing fruit. Resulting larvae burrow into the fruit, usually at the blossom end, to feed on the seeds. After about a month they leave the fruit and spin cocoons that produce a second egg-laying generation in july and august.

Sticky traps in general are used not so much as controls but as monitoring devices to detect the presence of pests. Their important drawback is that they also trap and destroy beneficial insects.

Commercial sticky traps with a sex pheromone attractant to lure male moths are used as monitors. As controls, they are deficient because they attract males, while it’s the females that lay eggs. No guarantee that the males will be caught before they mate.

Sanitation and visual monitoring measures work best as controls in home gardens, and are easiest to employ on small trees.Cobble hill doing most of the pruning in summer rather than in the dormant season helps to keep trees compact.

Inspect the apples often, beginning about six weeks after bloom. Remove and destroy any with entry holes. Pick up promptly all fallen apples. Place suspect apples in the freezer or a bucket of soapy water for a week to kill the larvae.

To trap any larvae left as they move down a tree to pupate, in early june wrap a 20cm-wide band of corrugated cardboard (corrugation against the tree) around each trunk. Check every 10 days for cocoons and larvae to pick out. Replace with fresh bands in mid-july. Garden events

Floral art. The mid island floral art club will meet on thursday at 2 p.M. In st. Stephen’s church hall, 150 village way in qualicum beach. The theme of the meeting’s hands-on demonstration will be have a go at art in bloom. For information on participating ($6) call 250-752-1858.

Seedy in cobble hill.Cobble hill the 18th annual cobble hill seedy saturday on march 10 from 10 a.M. To 2 p.M. Will feature seminars, vendors of plants of all kinds, heritage and organic seeds, vegetable and flower transplants, and a community seed exchange. Among the vendors will be dinter nursery and lee valley tools. Admission is free. Cobble hill hall on watson ave.