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Sawfly - free and organic solution

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EpsomOldie
EpsomOldie Posts: 192 Forumite
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edited 2 June 2012 at 8:17AM in Gardening
Thought I'd pass on a tip my allotment neighbours told me about. Sawfly grubs had stripped their gooseberry plants in previous years. They'd also eaten all my lovely Solomon's Seal in the garden, and left them in tatters so I was especially interested.

But they found a solution on t'internet which they tried and has proved a great success. This is what you do.
  1. Collect loads of elder leaves - about a kilo.
  2. Put into a pot and add water.
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for a bit
  4. Leave to get cold, then strain.
  5. Spray the solution onto the plant.
Okay, just popping up to Asda now...will go via Epsom Downs to have a look at all the Derby excitement. :D

Edited: Just found this on t'web which gives a more detailed recipe for the above and also other recipes.
http://www.dgsgardening.btinternet.co.uk/recipes.htm

Apparently the recipes are for historic interest only as Brussels has decided it's illegal to use home-made solutions that have worked safely and effectively for centuries.:rotfl:

EO
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Did I mention that Martin Lewis is a god?

Comments

  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    That's a great site. Been in my favourites for years.

    People should understand that this organic solution relies on a weak form of cyanide, but then if it didn't rely on something toxic it wouldn't work. :)
  • dogstarheaven
    dogstarheaven Posts: 1,382 Forumite
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    heard that rhubarb leaves strewn around the plants also helps. i've done that for mine..
  • EpsomOldie
    EpsomOldie Posts: 192 Forumite
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    Cyanide? Wow - isn't nature great?

    The rhubarb leaves sound good...and nice and quick. Makes sense I guess given that the oxalic acid makes them poisonous to us.

    I wonder if growing tobacco for nicotine would work too..."historical research" you understand.
    __________________________________
    Did I mention that Martin Lewis is a god?
  • Davesnave
    Davesnave Posts: 34,741 Forumite
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    EpsomOldie wrote: »
    Cyanide? Wow - isn't nature great?

    I wonder if growing tobacco for nicotine would work too..."historical research" you understand.

    Yes, you can get smoking tobacco from a number of sources. Chiltern seeds used to do it. Good luck with that though!

    The arsenic in laurel leaves is sufficient to make some folk wary if hedgetrimming a lot, especially if putting the results through a shredder.
  • ladylouise62
    ladylouise62 Posts: 731 Forumite
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    Davesnave wrote: »
    Y
    The arsenic in laurel leaves is sufficient to make some folk wary if hedgetrimming a lot, especially if putting the results through a shredder.

    I believe that you also have to be wary about ferrying it in the back of your car with closed windows!!!
  • Steve_xx
    Steve_xx Posts: 6,976 Forumite
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    I have two gooseberry bushes which fruit very well each year normally, despite every leaf being eaten by what I believe to be sawfly. However, this year the leaves have all been eaten as usual but there are very few gooseberries for some reason. In fact, not enough to even think about making jam with them. There's usually enough to make about 12lb of jam, but this year I'd be lucky to get enough for half a jar. It's the first time in 8 years that this has happened.
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