The merry month of May is here and what a month! Blossom is blooming and every day another treasure seems to appear from the undergrowth. New growth brings promise and the anticipation of summer.
Like a sundial an orchard is a great teller of the passing of time. The season can be gauged on where the fruit trees are in their cycle. I am very fortunate to work in a beautiful orchard which hosts many heritage apple varieties such as Blenheim Orange, Beauty of Bath, Ashmead Kernel and Court de Wick. Their blossom is a tremendous wildlife magnet.
Last year we had some unwanted visitors in the orchard so attempting to tackle with a pheromone trap; an organic method to curb codling moth.
The trap is hung in the middle of an orchard, one trap per five trees, on the prevailing wind side and lures in unsuspected male codling moths with a potent female pheromone. Sadly for them, rather than finding a mate they find a sticky end in the form of sticky paper which puts a stop to their antics and their lifecycle so maggots will not be laid in the apples and not damage the crop.
Leave some areas of your garden 'wild.' It provides an ideal home for wildlife which is great for pollinators. Mow the lawn into an attractive shape and your wild area will become a great garden feature.
May also brings an influx of weeds, in many shapes and forms. Seemingly tidy borders now run a mock with everything from ground elder to couch grass and sticky weed to bindweed. Annual weeds can be pulled or hoed. Perennial and tap-rooted weeds will need a firmer hand and be dug out.