Monday, 18 May 2009

Going to war

This is not a good news post. It is the story of the first disaster on the balcony. And it involves crawly things. We'll start with the story of our Eau de Cologne mint (also known as orange or bergamot but in Latin Mentha x piperita f. citara).

I was quite proud when I brought it home for the Torre Abbey plant sale. I was intending to let it grow a while and then start using it for cosmetic things. Foot baths and the like.

While our primrose was too shocked to live long after we brought it home (a victim of a poor root system and our over enthusiastic desire to save it) our mint soon perked up and run rampant in the way only mints can.

Just after we returned from Chester we found this yucky yellow thing on it. Being new to this I was only able to reason that it was either some form of larvae or some form of mould. We took pictures and sent them off to Stephen's Dad. along with a begging note (as Stephen's Dad reads this blog I feel compelled to point out that Stephen wrote the note so if it wasn't sufficiently begging I apologise)

Anyway he told us that it was probably some form of yucky insect. Not the type of thing I want swimming around my feet in any case. He suggested removing it, washing it and/or cutting the damn thing back and hoping for the best. As it's a mint I thought it wouldn't hate me too much for cutting it back to soil level and begging it to grow again.

The only good part to the story is that I was able to bring it inside to treat it. There is a vicious wind out there right now and I've not been able to do anything on the balcony but tie things down for the last couple of days. So long live container gardening.

I inspected the entire plant. The two main parts both has the yellow yuck. I tried to remove it but it just caused the plant more harm. Then I spotted the green fly. Appalling little things but they seem to like the wind less then I do. The two main parts both got cut to the soil.

The lonely little baby though was free of both yellow and green yuckies. To be on the safe side I gave it a shower. The fast moving water should dislodge anything I've missed. I'll be keeping an eye on it over the next few days and keep a spray bottle of washing up liquid and water handy.

So far none of the other plants have been affected. Happily our jasmine and strawberries are in flower. I don't think it's the time of year for jasmine but I'm not going to argue. And yes that is my hand holding them still for the pictures. It's damn windy out there.

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