Look at our apple trees now!

Remember we planted some sprouted apple seeds nearly five and a half years ago? I can’t believe it’s been over five years!  Anyway, look at them now!  In our last update, three years ago, they were still in pots, but not long after that we planted them in the chickens’ area of the garden where my husband works.  We thought they’d make the chickens’ patch more interesting and give them some shade in the summer.  They grew at different rates, maybe because they’re different types of apples but also because a couple of them have been plagued with ants farming aphids on them.  The little one at the back of the photo (above) was in a really bad way last year because it was smothered in greenfly so I soaked some soapnuts in a bottle of water and doused them liberally with it and this year it’s really bounced back.  Doesn’t seem a very vegan thing to do though does it?  But I want to protect the trees.  This year the ants are still there and the greenfly are back, though not in such great numbers yet.  I was hoping some ladybirds might help out if I left things alone but so far I’ve only seen one so I’m not really sure the best course of action.

Any natural suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

This one is the strongest this year – isn’t it marvellous?  A nice bit of shade for the chicks and, five years in, we’re half way to getting some apples.  Greenfly permitting 😉

Growing your own trees – it’s a rollercoaster of joy and apprehension! ❤

Ladybird Ladybird

Ladybirds are good for the garden as they will eat the insects that hurt your plants.  A ladybird house, as well as planting things they like (like dandelion and fennel), will encourage ladybirds to stay in your garden because it provides them with a safe roosting place during cold and frosty nights in early spring and a safe place in which to hibernate in winter.

So why not make one?

how to build a ladybird house

Put your bug house under a shrub or against a wall where it is warm and sheltered but not hot.

bamboo ladybird house

And if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious look at this! Amazing!

Don’t use chemicals in your garden, encourage nature to do the work for you 🙂