Your Summer Fruit starts now!

Your Summer Fruit starts now!

Now this may be the strangest time to talk about your summer fruit. If you were industrious through the summer, the only summer fruit that you have left is in the jam pantry and the chutney jar.

So why talk about summer fruit in late Autumn?

There are numeeerous reasons, most of them obvious, and one that may be new. It was new to me, I tried it, and as the song goes “I’m a Believer!”

The typical reasons:

1. Mulch you fruit trees to retain the moisture right through winter. Your trees will say “I love you soooo much”.

2. Remember to still water your trees in winter.

3. Pruning season is coming – prepare for it (I will have more on this end of May).

4. You should plant new trees now, and perhaps take out some of the dead or dying.

The interesting bit:

Last year I read a snippet somewhere (sorry, author, can’t remember) about controlling fruit flies. And I tried this strange method. And it worked REALLY well. Out of all my fruit I munched and jammed I had about five fruit (yep, FIVE) out of more than 100 kg of fruit, that had larvae in them.

Now, just how is that possible, you may ask? And this is just the place to find out. As you may have gathered, I hate poisons. So, it will have to be organic? Also, I love recycling, so it has to involve that as well? Yes.

And here is the whole story:

Take an empty 2l cool drink bottle. Keep the cap on, and make a hole on the side, about 10cm from the top of the bottle. The hole is bout the size of a new R5 coin. Careful when you cut it, easy to cut yourself doing this. I use a hole drill, as its a zip-zap process then. (Just because I like recycling does not mean I like drudgery).

Now put in about half a cup of sugar. Fill it with water to about 1l. Tie a string to the top and hang it from your fruit tree, one bottle per tree. (No, this will not stop you dogs from pooing under the trees).

And that’s it!

But how does it work, you may ask?

Apparently, according to Author Unknown, in winter, the randy little male fruit flies come along and put some pheromone trails on the fruit trees. This attracts the females in spring, where they then get a chance to fertilise them and there are your larvae in the fruit.

So, if you get the men in the winter time, or before spring, you stop the cycle? Yep.

Ok, I was a skeptic. But why not? I asked myself.

What I found was that right through winter there were drowned fruit flies in the bottles. (You have to fill them up when they are empty, just with water, the sugar stays. Mine freezes solid, but I chose sunny spots, so they thaw quickly.)

Also, I found a few coddling moths (nasties, those). But, no bees! So, if the bees use my traps, they are too smart to get caught.

So, are you a skeptic? Try it, I challenge you. I am so confident now that I can pick fruit at night and much them without even worrying if I’m getting in some additional “protein”.

fruitfly infested

fruitfly infested

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