A few days ago, I noticed the younger leaves on my apple curling up. It seemed odd but I thought it must just be because they were young. Then I took a closer look yesterday evening.
Aphids. Not what I want on my tree. So, remembering my mum’s suggestion that I use rhubarb leaves to counter insect attack, I looked up a recipe to make it and set to work.
I even had a handy spray, which had been waiting in my kitchen since I was in rented accommodation several years previously. Now, isn’t great when you know your clutter has been justifiably kept?
Once the liquid had cooled I set to work, spraying it on the apple tree leaves. I’ve given them a second go this evening, as well as the broad beans, the blueberry bush and the strawberries. I have no idea how effective it will be but it is organic.
A precautionary note: rhubarb leaves are poisonous to humans, too. The produce sprayed should therefore not be eaten for at least 48 hours after being sprayed. The spray is also toxic to our friends the bees, so it is not something to be used willy-nilly. In fact, I do hope none visit my garden in the next couple of days, as I really do not want them to be affected.
As for the recipe it is very simple. I simply boiled a few leaves for 20-30 minutes and then diluted it 1 part liquid insecticide to 9 parts water. It apparently starts to lose its effectiveness after 24 hours, so I have disposed of the remainder now.
I hope it will be effective and I won’t have to make any more, as I do feel uncomfortable about affecting bees and any other friendly insects that might be out there.
Anyway, had I not been so transfixed on digging at the allotment, it might not have come to this. There is plenty for me to be doing at home, as has been demonstrated over the last couple of days, but this does make me feel positive about my decision to move on from Wonder World 🙂
© Helen Butt, June 2014