Monday, November 4, 2013

the stink !

You Drongo !

We know when we start to see these around

Spangled Drongo

that we will have these on the citrus.

The aptly named Stink Bug, 4th instars Nymph stage

Sure enough..... there they are, Stink Bugs !  and it's time to spend a few hours picking them off the trees.

Being sap suckers, they can do quite a bit of damage.  We usually do 2 rounds, about 2 weeks apart, collecting 100's each time by hand, into a bucket of water with some washing liquid..  Only takes about 90mins a time, so not too bad but you need to make sure they don't spray your eyes, bad enough on the face with the sting from the acid (and the stink !)  Washable gloves, long sleeves and protective eye glasses are definitely the go !

Apparently the Drongo eats Stink Bugs, not a discerning palette' I guess but unfortunately (or fortunately) most of our citrus is under netted cover to stop predation from mostly possums but this has the unfortunate side effect of stopping the Drongo from getting at the bugs.

Something New

We used to often see in Cambodia, raised wire platforms 1.5m off the ground, covered in cucumbers etc which sprawl across the wire providing shade for plants grown underneath. We thought we would try that over here in Summer.  We found an old Aluminium door frame, covered it in chicken wire and Cobb 'n Co Hitched it to four support posts.

The plants will trail up the support legs and provided shade for less tolerant veggies underneath, well that's the plan !  We'll see how it goes.


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