Reporting on Kowhai Park Feilding

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    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.



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    Jacqui, I printed out and gave to Albert the "Certified butterfly gardens/habitats" documentation from this website plus put the website address on it. He sounded very interested as he read the piece of paper.

    However under…
    ? predators and parasites to be discouraged by natural means;
    …it *may* be not what the council is prepared to do. Then again, Albert said to me he doesnt know if they will be able to get a hold of that insecticide anymore.

    Anywayz I put my plug in for the Admirals and with the possibility of them having a lil patch of nettle, and he sounded pretty keen on that idea, and spoke about putting a row in at the back, so kids dont get stung. He also said they intended to plant dahlias among the swanplants but there were too many swanplants this time around. I also 1/2 heard him talking to hubby about moths. Sounds like this guy knows quite a bit.




    Well you guys have pipped me at the post. Ive had my hands full this a.m. Pirimor 50 IS an insecticide, and yes thats what theyve used.

    Indeed Darren, thats the link Ive just been to after a google search. If you read the whole thing it looks a bit lethal to me. Look at the precautions you need to take when applying it. If you click on the tabs up on the top right of that website youve got a link to, you can DL 3 small PDFs which I take it is the official info on it. I Havent done that yet.

    So, I have just been to the park this a.m. and talked with Albert James. Whilst I was there waiting for him, there was no time to waste. It was a case of tranfer duties :-. Transferring large pillars (no time to count how many…I guess 100) into my container to take them home, and transferring most others from one end of the plot to t'other, where theres some feed. A closer look shows theres the usual casualties one would expect from this time of the year. I noticed some chrysalides have gone a "funny colour" and the me thinks its probably the cold night we had last night, plus a few others. Probably tomorrow I'll go down and do rescue mission Part3, and get any Js, and any savable chrysalides.

    Back to Albert. He said "that he was aware of" no pillars were affected. They used the spray twice. Once when the plants were young, and I cant remember when he said the 2nd time was. I think it was about 1/2 way through the growing season. Whatever the case, the question is, were there any pillars at the time of spraying.

    I think I would want to see all the exact conditions surrounding the time they did their spraying. I'd want to reserve judgement until I saw how, not only pillars were affected, but right through to butterflies.

    Having said all that, they have certainly been reporting in the local rag a bumper season though. I did notice 2 little low down branchs with aphids starting up. Needless to say I squished them.



    PIRIMOR 50 is a fast acting aphicide with contact, translaminar and strong fumigant activity especially during warm weather. It is extremely selective to aphids and does not harm beneficial insects such as bees or ladybirds.

    sounds very interesting! Their list of distributors is here:



    This a great council initiative, Swansong.

    I emailed Albert James – the parks manager quoted.
    He says the spray is Pirimor 50 Used to control the aphids in the wheat industry. He thinks it's not available for sale to the public.
    If anyone knows anything about it, I'd be very interested to hear.



    Thanks Alison for that.

    Not that Im an authority on all this but the word "insecticides" doesnt sound promising does it???? To my mind insecticides is synonymous with chemical spraying which the above excerpt says is impossible without harming the pillars, and a position that Id tend to support. Looks like we have a conflict of terms going on or something. The person mentioned in the article wasnt the one that I spoke to a few months back, that told me they were using something that didnt harm the pillars. The media doesnt always quote verbatim what people tell them either, which may be the case with the MDC article.

    To my knowledge (I havnt kept a close eye on the park, but just go there from time to time) theres been no casualties of Pillars and we certainly didnt see any aphids on the plants yesterday. Though the plants look more skinned at one end of the plot, theyre all healthy. Theres still a heap of pillarz too. Didnt find any evidence of crook pillars.

    As I mentioned above, I brought home about 60 and they'll pretty much all fatties and doing well.

    Yeah so Ill check next week and see what I can find out.



    Hi Swansong, excerpt from the article above follows:

    "If you have problems with aphids attacking the
    swan plant while there are caterpillars present,
    there are no safe chemicals or sprays that can
    be used without killing the caterpillars. The best
    way to get rid of the aphids is to use the finger
    and thumb technique and squash them (gross
    I know but it is the safest way of not killing
    the caterpillars). If you feel you need to use
    chemicals to control the aphids, you are going
    to need to remove all of the caterpillars from
    the plants and check there are no further eggs
    on the leaves. Spray with a product with a low
    withholding period and leave the caterpillars off
    the plant until this time has lapsed (if you don?t
    do this you will kill the caterpillars). I recommend
    you use Mavrik, Tui Eco Pest or spraying oil."

    I would be very grateful if you could find out what the council is using as I am having the same problem with aphids and passion vine hoppers.



    Alison, do you care to paste and excerpt of relevant info off that PDF? Its 5 something MBs and on dialup that takes ages.

    Come next week I'll ring the council and see what I can find out.

    One thing I know, the 3 or 4 times Ive visited all looks well. Happy fat Pillars and heaps of butterflies. Ive seen A couple of munted ones as can be expected when youre dealing with these numbers and especially when something impedes their wings when they are trying to fill them out.




    By the way, the "Swan Plant" article is on page 7 of the file.



    I have just been surfing the net and come across an article saying there are no safe insecticides which can be safely used when the cats and eggs are present.



    Confidor , not mean't to kill caterpillars ?



    Stefan I *THINK* I remember someone saying whatever it was it was organic, but Im not 100% sure. Next time I see someone I'll ask, and this time I'll write it down!.



    Stefan Olson

    from the article:
    ?We?ve also been able to keep a little yellow aphid off the plants this year using a selective insecticide that kills it, but not the caterpillars.?

    does anyone know what they are using?

    … Stefan



    Jacqui I sent you an Email and it looks like Ive got an automated response :-/. WHatever, I'll wait until you can read your email, as the response said.

    I'll just post this though which should be of general interest.

    Heres a link to an article about Kowhai park which also featured in the Feilding Herald.



    Jacqui and Char, Ill Email you guys tomorrow.




    Swansong – another thought – can you speak with whoever is the head concho at the local council gardening department and tell them about our Certified Butterfly Habitat project? It would be great to encourage them to apply!




    Wow Swansong we are coming down to the Hawkes Bay on Easter to visit my sister.
    We may try and pop over to see the setup if that's ok with you?
    As we hope to catch up with Jane as well;-)

    Char & Al



    Great to hear, Swansong! Hope that someone can report them in to the site, so the information goes straight into the database.

    Don't mind who does it, or how many times people do it, but much easier to find the information than scrolling through the forum.


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