Saturday, 29 December 2012

Friendly Insecticides

I've been a medium/long term user of the Bayer Provado insecticides. I especially liked its safety around animals - as my cat will often be gardening with me. The cat also likes to help me prune the plants and uses them for shade.

Earlier this year (2012) I started to read up on alternatives as the connection between Neonicotinoids and bee colony collapse began to concern me.

I have used the Canna fertilisers for several years and they are very effective. I haven’t been able to get any of this off the shelf in the UK - although I will keep an eye out for it.

PS. I see that it is now available from merchants on Amazon so I will try it out next year.

I bought some of the SB plant invigorator on Amazon. Some background reading indicates that it's a foliar fertiliser and contains surfactants (soapy stuff). This seems to be similar to the good old soap or oil based sprays against insects.

I sprayed my citrus and maples at the beginning of the growing season as a trial to see how well it worked.

I also discovered some aphids on a Scots pine and using the SBPI cleared them up nicely - I hadn't sprayed the pines with anything this year.

My Calamondin has also not had scale or aphids this year - which is a first. Usually its covered with sticky sap and black gunk for the bugs. Perhaps the lack of insects dragging it down explains why it has done so well this year. The maples were clear.

My only concern with SBPI was that I went through most of a container of the ready to use mixture on a few larger bonsai. Its also quite expensive in that form.

The concentrate is well priced ( about £10 ) and will give me roughly 25 refills. This should give good coverage of a medium bonsai collection for a year.