Slate backed moth!

I visited Malvern Autumn Show last Sunday and helped Jane on the Implementations copper tool stand.

It was lovely to meet lots of fellow copper tool users who have had amazing results using copper tools and as I listened to Jane explain why she thinks they work so well, I learned so much. She talked about having iron tools that are always in a state of degeneration whereas copper tools are not. Better to use a product that is helping to put copper back into the ground and sweeten the water to help your plants to grow.

A lovely gentleman came along and chatted to me. He explained that his name was Charles and he is Joe Swifts ‘mentor’. Joe is one of the presenters of BBC’s ‘Gardeners World’. He said that he had won many prizes for his vegetables and especially tomatoes…..my ears pricked up!

‘I have had a terrible problem with caterpillars on my tomatoe plants’ I explained. He knew all about this problem and has had it himself in the past. They are from the ‘Slate backed moth’ and because of their colouring, are almost impossible to see in your greenhouse. He said you have to shine a strong torch into the greenhouse and you may see them. Shake the plants and watch the caterpillars drop off – then remove them to somewhere that they can’t get back onto your tomatoes. I tried spraying mine with washing up liquid solution, and although it seemed to get rid of the caterpillars, the tomatoes didn’t like this being done to them and some of them discoloured and didn’t look too appetising.

With the ones that were ok, I made ‘fresh and sun dried tomato chutney – with a few chillies – just to make it interesting! This recipe will follow.

Happy gardening.