The green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England, is home to the cider apple orchards which surround the gardens of Pear Tree Cottage. They enjoy a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury and Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener! This began in 2010 & follows the weekly ups and downs of garden work chronicling both successes and failures but, above all, demonstrates the fun enjoyed by three people who regularly garden in all weathers


18 March 2019

The Great Azorean Experiment - Fumigation Phase II

5 minutes after lighting the fire
10am the following morning & all clear.

Having found an infestation of greenfly in the greenhouse; I put phase II of my fumigation smoke experiment into action.  Again I burnt some damp leaves in a handy little brazier inside the greenhouse with both doors and all windows closed.  This time, instead of an hour, I left a totally smoke filled greenhouse overnight. 

When I say totally smoke filled, I mean it! Visibility was down to 9" so I definitely couldn't see what was happening through the dense and choking smoke but, by morning, all was clear and I swept up the ashes.  All plants are completely unharmed by this long exposure to such dense smoke.  From now on, I shall be keeping a very close eye on pests.

Having scoured the internet, I have been unable to find any information on doing this anywhere at all. As I explained in my earlier post, this is a method of fumigation used by the Head Gardener in charge of pineapple cultivation in the Azores. There, they burnt the dead pineapple leaves inside the houses to kill pests.  Unfortunately, the language barrier meant I couldn't ask many questions and I wonder how frequently this is done. If anyone has any information on this practice, I'd be absolutely delighted to hear.  If successful, it has to be better than fumigating with chemicals so noxious that all plant material needs to be removed!

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