I had a great conversation with another vegetable grower the other week, over a game of bowls. I mentioned my sawfly/redcurrant problem (see this post), and she gave me the following tip: horse manure. Stick a layer of horse manure over the soil (in early spring, I think she said), and the sawfly larvae will have a much harder job to emerge and plunder your redcurrant bushes. Something to think about.
Earlier this week, I was congratulating myself that my tomato crop had been a reasonably good one, especially considering the fact that the summer had such a slow start. However, today I noticed something that shook me out of my complacency a bit – many of my tomato plants had tiny “nibbles” on the skin of the fruit and also on the stems/leaves. The pic below shows an example (click for biggering).
A bit of googling came up with a possible culprit: the flea beetle. I have ordered some yellow sticky sheets off eBay so hopefully I can catch some of the little barstewards and ID them conclusively. I will have to be careful about not re-using the tomato compost, because apparently the flea beetle overwinters in the soil where the affected crop grows. (Maybe I can dump it by the rose bushes in the front garden, well away from any vegetable plants.)