Susan Wakeman

pollinator
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since Dec 06, 2013
I love learning and sharing my discoveries! Be it gardening, permaculture or mathematics, I coach adults and children in and out of school.
Lake Geneva, Switzerland, Europe
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Recent posts by Susan Wakeman

Thank you for sharing these photos and expertise. Wow, those promiscuous tomato flowers are beautiful.
1 week ago
Just wanted to say that I've learned so much through your posts on permies, thank you so much for sharing your expertise so freely.
1 week ago
I've been told that with tomatoes, while you can easily re-sow seed from non-hybrid tomatoes, it is not advisable to do that over more than 3 or 4 years, to avoid inbreeding depression. Is this correct, and how do you keep vigour in home saved seed?
1 week ago
I liked your design so much I adapted it for my own:
2 weeks ago
According to Stamets, Winecaps are both saprophytic (wood digesting) and symbiotic, needing both plants and bacteria in order to thrive. From what you are saying, I am wondering if their role is in this intersection between woodchip and compost means that they move on when their job is done?
Then again, I heard that winecaps were used in Hungary(?) to degrade cornstalks, and that the mushrooms were harvested in the cornfields.
1 month ago
Some people twist the cut hay into a "sausage" to lay it around hungry crops. This has the advantage that the ring can be lifted to check for slugs.
1 month ago
According to the French agro-expert Hervé Covès, the key to aphid control is to make sure you have aphids all season, especially early in the season! The reason plants like elderberry and nasturtium, which tend to have loads of aphids without being bothered by them is NOT that they "trap" aphids - the bugs on them are different types of aphid - but it feeds aphid predators.

Tiny flowers and umbellifers are especially useful to hoverflies and the tiny parasitic wasps.

He also points out that spraying the plant with a weak honey solution causes it to think it is attacked by aphids and thicken it's cell walls. However, this does come at a cost to the plant (but is better than being weakened by aphids).

Interestingly, he has observed that the presence of aphids without gap until the autumn has led to aphid predators eating the asian fruit fly drosophila suzukii, which is a recent arrival in Europe with a big impact on cherry, grape, and soft fruit.

https://www.permatheque.fr/2015/04/04/herve-coves-gestion-holistique-des-pucerons/

Therefore my goal is to make sure I have tiny flowers for tiny insects, and to make sure there are always aphids somewhere in the vicinity.
1 month ago
I grow it for an indian food delivery, they love it. I interplant with my summer cabbages. The seeds were from a spice packet:)
2 months ago
Hervé covez, agronomist in France found that the aphid predators also eat drosophila suzukii. His answer is to make sure you always have a aphid host plant for every period of the year for continuous food supply and to provide overwintering space for predators such as lacewing, hover fly, spiders etc.
De will kill all of them! It might be natural, but it is still a pesticide.
Among the plants he named were yarrow and elder.
4 months ago
I've found a charity starting school allotments at secondary schools in England:
http://www.thepapillonproject.com/about-the-project/
4 months ago