Reporting on Kowhai Park Feilding

This topic contains 42 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Swansong 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #14157

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi,

    Just been down to the park to release more butterflies this a.m. FOr those who dont know, there is a really nice fenced off area dedicated to Monarchs in this park, and therein are about 200 swanplants theyve planted this year.

    They all know I "flog" nettle outa there and theyre pretty pleased that I do so. : ).

    Just talking to the guys down there and the report is that they have had an absolute bumper season. Monarchs GALORE. The guy I spoke to this a.m. said last weekend there were literelly hundreds and hundreds of them, and there were heaps generally parked up around the trees. Another guy a week or 2 back told me everything seemed to have happened at the right time, as the swanplants had heaps of nectar on them, to feed many many butterflies.

    Today I see theres HEAPS MORE monarchs hatching under the pickett fence railing. Theres still chrysalides GALORE. The plants are fairly boned out but theres still quite a bit of leaf at one end of the area. The plants are also sprouting again. DIdnt see any eggs. I brought home about 60 to finish off and the biggest are inside now.

    WHat a difference a few miles make in comparison with my season. They dont seem to have had many pests, from what I can remember they controlled the aphids with an organic spray.

    Cheers

    Swansong

Viewing 25 replies - 1 through 25 (of 42 total)
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  • #24989

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hey guys. Just been to check out the territory again. Hehe saw a ragged monarch flying around too.

    Yeah Stefan we’ve had a few humdingers out here. Its amazing the micro climates we can have within a very short distance.

    Quite a few swanplants have now been frost bitten and my guess is they’ll probably succumb under the next frost. There are quite a number (about 25% that are dead now) mainly down one end. Theres still a few healthy specimens and Im going to be very interested to see if any make it. We’re not outta the woods by any stretch yet where frosts are concerned. Right now we have most unseasonal humid fog lined hills. Go figure.

    NOw, I spied with my little eye some more nettles coming on and some about 8 inches high and very healthy. Unfortunately I was’nt able to lift them as the visit to the park was a spur of the moment thing while we were in town anyway. Darn! Boy I’ll be brassed off if the guys weed them out. Next time I go to town it will be with gloves and a bucket.

    I have another addy pillar gone into a J (the 3rd) inside my outside enclosure. :-))))). Cant wait to see what they will be….heheh aside from naughty of course.

    Swansong
    Swansong

    #24897

    Stefan Olson
    Participant

    There were few dead plants, but not many and the rest looked in very good condition. My giant swan plants at home appear to have survived the frosts fairly well, but we haven’t had as many frosts as you, I don’t think.

    …Stefan

    #24880

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hey Stefan, were any of the swanplants burnt with the meeeeean frosts we’ve been having. This a.m. was a lighter one but I think now Ive had 5 in a row. We’ve had a couple of UNOFFICIAL -5’s where I am.

    Last time I went to the park to grab some nettles (2 or 3 weeks ago) the swanplants looked absolutely as healthy as.

    Swansong

    #24878

    Stefan Olson
    Participant

    I went to Kowhai Park on Tuesday and am very pleased to report that I saw a butterfly resting in a tree and then it flew away.

    The swan plants are all looking very good, so should be a bumper year there next year!

    …Stefan

    #23835

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Photographs here – thanks Char.

    Photos of Kowhai Park

    #23832

    Jane
    Participant

    Kowhai Park is great isn’t it. It is excellent to see public gardens focusing on butterflies so that the butterflies profile is highlighted within the community.

    Was good to see Char and Al touring in Palmerston North 😉

    #23798

    Swansong
    Participant

    Hi Char, it was lovely to meet you and Al and Im glad you loved the park. It was also a pleasure to take you there, and chat over a cuppa later.

    Hehe deep trouble eh? The guy in that house is sorta tied in to having to do what the council wants anywayz so I wasnt too perturbed, as Id spoken to the person in charge before that, and he was fine about me going in there. I can see that guys point though that when people see someone in there that doesnt have the stamp of "officialdom" on them, then it gives all in sundry ideas that they can do the same, plus the potential for unruly kids getting in there and causing damage which is not really appropriate me thinks.

    Yes Id like to see the piks too : ).

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #23784

    Darren
    Participant

    I've been investigating this Pirimor 50 aphidicide.

    Under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act 1996 you must have an Approved Handler Test Certificate to purchase or use Pirimor 50. (http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/hs/compliance/ahtc.html)

    Gaining this certificate requires about 6 hours of classroom training and costs about $150. It also requires evidence that you are experienced and competent in agrichemicals usage, storage, handling and disposal.

    I don't have such a certificate, but given my background as an industrial chemist and experience in a pesticide laboratory I wouldn't have much trouble getting one. That would enable me to conduct my own trials on monarchs. If I bought a few castles from live monarch I could probably make it a multi-generational trial.

    But I think that ultimately there would be no point in my doing so. Even if we found that Pirimor 50 was completely safe for monarchs, people still wouldn't be able to buy it and use it in their gardens, and I doubt many of us would want to pay an approved handler just to spray a few plants!

    Also some people are completely against the use of synthetic chemicals in their gardens, which I completely respect since it was the liver damage my former career caused me that prompted my career change into teaching.

    So I'm not going to pursue this any further.

    #23782

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Kowhai Park was incredible to see. They have done a tremendous job and Swansong as well for helping out and moving caterpillars around for feed etc.

    We were both blown away by all the chrysalis attached underneath the fence panels.
    Swansong I did think when the person who lived in the house behind the swan plant area came out and spoke to us that we were in deep trouble, LOL.

    Poor Al he managed to get swamped by all the people coming up to have a look and got stuck answering questions and was unable to take many photos.

    We do have a few pics and I will send them to you Swansong.

    Thanks Swansong for taking us to Kowhai Park;-))
    Another journey the Monarchs have taken us on. hee hee

    Cheers
    Char

    #23768

    Anonymous

    Thanks for that, Charlotte – you are just not using it because have run out. I might give it go next season.

    Yep, Swansong – if it sounds scary, it probably is!!!!

    I did see Charlotte's husband spraying the Ocean Organic Foliar directly ontp cayerpillars and Charlotte says there were no ill effects over a whole season, so…sure beats the heck out of squishing.

    Trisha

    #23678

    Swansong
    Participant

    Thanks Char, I didnt see your post til now. This seems to happen a lot to me mmmm :-/. Not to worry. : )

    Surprisingly Ive actually had very little probs with aphids this season. Heh heh my hubby's watching as I type this and he says…yeah thats coz Ive been squishing them all ;-). Great to have good hubbys eh??? He says though, they seem to be only on the potted plants and not the planted ones, which would support your theory Char that they are more likely to go for stressed plants. Under the same conditions potted plants, I would hazard a guess, are always more stressed than planted out ones. Now I better go and water them.

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #23676

    Swansong
    Participant

    Thanks Darren for your input. I too have used garlic and dishwash solution. It was a long time ago though. I think you have to keep at it.

    Another time I cant remember EXACTLY the circumstances, but from memory, there were no pillars on the plant at the time. I had a big swanplant loaded with black aphids and I remember literally dunking the plant (never mind spraying) with bucket loads of washing water. I also swished whole attached twigs where possible. I use drive FWIW and have done for years. I also used dishwashing water. I cant remember how long I kept this up but it fixed the blighters, and good job! They NEVER came back that season, but the stem tips had that horrid blackish look from where theyd damaged the plant, even though it recovered.

    Id be reticent to spray anything at all on pillars without knowing how they were going to be affected.

    At these times I found aphids typically picked out one plant and left others alone. Dont know if it makes any difference as to the type of aphid, but Ive found those orange ones just hit everything. :-|. (grrrrrr)

    I guess the proof is in the pudding, and from what I can ascertain with the info Ive been given, our park has done well for sure. Hopefully I might be able to catch up with the guy who actually sprayed the plants and see if he can remember if there were any pillars at the time and how/if they were affected at all.

    IMHO when the MSDS looks "scary" then it is. I still havent viewed this yet with pirimor 50. However Ill say I think theres too much laxity and "she'll be right mate" attitudes going on about sprays in general. Often its not until a few years down the track that problems surface and then there's all the usual duck-shoving about it. Roundup was touted for years as being very very safe and I thought it was until I read the MSDS on it. Its also changed to what it was and correspondingly a wise person will certainly see the need to be careful using it.

    #23675

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Yes Swansong the Ocean organic spray has kept us aphid free;-)
    Now that we have run out we have aphids galore on quite a few of our plants.
    Especially our A.incarnata they are dying off and being attacked rapidly by the aphids.
    I agree with you Swansong aphids are mongrels. hee hee
    I usually squish so hard!!

    We would spray with the Ocean organic foliar spray each Sunday out in the garden on our large plants.
    We never sprayed our seedlings or potted swan plants which were for sale.
    If you follow the directions on the concentrate bottle you cant go wrong;-)
    Hope this all helps.

    Cheers
    Char

    #23674

    Darren
    Participant

    I've been spraying with dishwash and garlic spray, cutting off the infected tips and grinding them underfoot, and still I can't keep those aphids under control. Interestingly it is my A.incarnata that seem to be suffering the worst, and it looks like most of them are dying. I have 1 G.fruticosus that looks pretty sad over its top half, but the rest are hanging in there.

    If we can get pirimor 50 I would volunteer to take part in a trial. The MSDS looks scary but needs to be taken in context. The MSDS for DHMO is also scary but most gardeners wouldn't hesitate to spray it on their plants and it is widely used in the agricultural industry.
    http://www.dhmo.org/msdsdhmo.html

    #23673

    Swansong
    Participant

    Thanks Char for your report. Please speak up anyone else.

    Has this kept you aphid free right throughout the time youve used the spray?

    I'd rather think that spraying once a week is going to get very old very quickly for some of us. If it really works I guess its better than squishing and when you look at it less time consuming ESPECIALLY for larger plots. Flippin aphids are mongrels.

    Swansong

    #23672

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Hi Swansong,

    We used the spray once a week on all of our plants throughout our section.
    If you had/have aphids you would have to use the spray daily for 3 days. The spray doesn't kill the aphids just makes your plant healthy, as aphids usually only attack weak or stressed plants.

    The plants we first tested the spray on we did not move them. We kept around 5 caterpillars of different sizes on the plant and sprayed the plant once a week. The caterpillars grew and pupated safely and emerged as butterflies safely.

    I called Ocean Organics and spoke to a lady there who said they use the spray all the time on their swan plants and they never have a problem.

    Hopefully some other people will comment on the spray.
    The concentrated bottle we brought lasted us a whole year, so good buying I reckon;-)

    was just that you seemed to have stopped using the foliar spray that made me think there might a problem. You're advertising spray free plants this year.
    Trisha we never stopped using the spray. We just never used it on our seedlings and smaller swan plants we were selling.

    Thanks
    Char

    #23669

    Swansong
    Participant

    Yes I would like as many people as possible who've used this Ocean organics foliar spray, to comment.

    Char, …
    – How often did you need to use it?
    – How affective against aphids?
    – DO you have to xfer the pillars at all?

    If it is really good I will recommend it to Albert.

    Hey Trisha, yes Ak is probably a bit more than a tad warmer than us… well at least at this time of the year anyway. Through summer we can give you a run for your money …um sometimes… ;-).

    Yes Kowhai park is really really nice. They have some birds around too. Heh, the ducks make me laugh…tell me they havnt got kids sussed…like they know juuuust how far to keep outta reach :-DDDD…. boy have they got it good, and they'll have it better at duck shooting season. They aint stupid.

    I cant wait to see what happens as far as a cluster goes. Alison, youd need some mighty tall poles with nets on to catch some of these butterflies as you can see them floating about around the tops of some very tall trees. Others seem to be just generally hanging around as well. This is all in the general vicinity of the swanplant plot. This week we are going to remain dry and sunny, apparently, but I dunno about the nights. Hopefully we dont get any frosts!

    Cheers
    Swansong

    #23667

    Anonymous

    Hi Flutterbys – was just that you seemed to have stopped using the foliar spray that made me think there might a problem. You're advertising spray free plants this year.
    Thanks
    Trisha

    #23666

    Anonymous

    Was just a bit ambiguous, the way I wrote it, Swansong.
    Yes, the hazard notes are one of the PDFs on that site.

    What a neat park to have so closeby:) What a beautiful sight -all those monarchs on the grass – and so many more to come.
    Sounds like clusters are likey if they are gathering on tree already?
    No doubt you see overwintering behaviour starting earlier than we do up here – just a tad warmer here in Ak.

    Best
    Trisha

    #23665

    Alison
    Participant

    Gosh Swansong, I would be in tagging heaven in that park! Have tagged around 25 in the past 2 days and am slowing getting to the end of my babies.

    #23659

    Charlotte
    Participant

    HI Swansong,

    Sounds like your doing a great job down there in the park near you.
    Keep up the good work!
    Those aphids sure are a menace that's for sure.

    We did use the Ocean organics foliar spray last season and NEVER had a problem with caterpillars or butterflies.
    A few other members used this as well, so they might post their feedback to let you know.
    The foliar spray is good for your house plants as well as your outdoor plants and this feed the leaves and makes them lush and green and healthy.

    I have heard that phacleia plants may keep aphids away. Not entirely sure as Beverley may know more on this one and hopefully Beverley will come in and post about the plant.
    I have 2 pkts of seeds of the phacelia here to sow;-)

    Cheers
    Char

    #23656

    milkweed
    Participant

    Warm soapy dishwater kills aphids superbly. I could be wrong but i don't think it kills eggs or cats as long as the dilution of dishwash and warm water is not too strong.

    #23654

    Swansong
    Participant

    Now for the beautiful part.

    At about 9.45am we saw quite an amazing sight. Hubby counted about 36 butterflies all over the grass lawn in the park, and they were feeding on the dew. They were there when we came and still there when we left! I REALLY wanted to take a pik but didnt have time [ : ( ] as I was desperate to get big pillarz home ASAP. If I go down tomorrow, I will time it so hopefully we see a repeat.

    There were a number of butterflies around the various trees. Hubby counted 19 in one of them. There were 1/2 a doz or so just gliding around. There were about 6-10 new hatches as I was working in the plot. At a very rough guess Id say there were between 100 – 200 chrysalides attached to the railing around the picket fence.

    Going by all this activity lets hope there will be a cluster at the park this year. : ).

    Swansong

    #23653

    Swansong
    Participant

    "Yep, Swansong, I meant the plants in the park is a great initiative – not the spraying."

    I wouldnt have thought otherwise Trisha.

    Did you get the hazard sheet from the linked website above which had 3 PDFs? If not would you mind postinf up a link? Tar.

    FOr sure no one can be too careful with sprays. Dont even get me started on GE. I put sprays more or less in the same category 8-0 … ESPECIALLY if theyre used irresponsibly which we all know they are.

    Swansong

    #23652

    Anonymous

    Yep, Swansong, I meant the plants in the park is a great initiative – not the spraying.

    I read your first post early in the weekend and emailed Albert James then – got the reply this morning.

    Great rescuing…I am nearly done for the season, but I have had them outdoors only this year.

    If there is a safe spray to deal with aphids, I'd sure like to know about it.
    I guess the only way to figure it out is to get volunteers to do a controlled trial next season.

    I read the hazard sheet on Pirimor 50 and it looks quite scary. I am the first to admit I am VERY wary of sprays.

    I'd still to like know if the Ocean Organics Seaweed Foliar spray the trust promoted last year was proven safe. No-one answers that question, so I am guessing there might have been hiccups with it.

    Trisha

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