This weekend was scorching hot in here in Japan. Temps in our area hit 35 Celcius (95 Fahrenheit) today with clear skies and blazing sun. Despite the intense heat, I was able to transplant five more plants into their permanent homes for the rest of the year.
The transplants above are all planted in 10.9 liter (2.87 gal.) fabric pots. The same will apply to several if not all of my remaining starts. Like the previously transplanted set, I am using commerical container soil and ammending with composted cow manure, pelletized organic fertilizer, rock dust, and mycorrhizal ammendments.
If you happen to live in Japan and need to fill many containers without breaking the bank too much, my soil was purchased from farm/garden/hardware store Komeri for 798yen per 40L bag. Despite what people say about commerical bagged soil, my plants have been doing great. Below are the previous transplants in their 21.2 liter (5.6 gal.) fabric pots.
Pest control be damned
Recently I've been battling loopers and other caterpillars in other areas of my garden. For whatever reason our area gets a crap ton of moths around this time and they are laying eggs like crazy. Hopefully I can get things under control before the first wave of beetles hits.
Since insecticidal soap wasn't work too well and because beneficials have been showing up recently making garlic spray a bit of a gamble, I have started using neem oil. I am now using a 2 liter pump sprayer versus those dinky little spray bottles I used previously and the difference in terms of converage is like night and day. For a sub $15 product, this bad boy rocks. The spray is a fine mist that coats plant leaves evenly and because it is so fine a little liquid goes a long way; will definitely be using this with my compost tea as well.
And to take things up a notch, I've also been using granular pyrethrine on our cherry blossom tree since it appears to be a haven (and main source) for all sorts of pests including aphids, moths/caterpillars, and Japanese beetles. The stuff is supposed to dissolve on contact with water and be taken up via the tree/plant roots to kill anything that feeds off of leaves. Hopefully it works, and even if it doesn't kill anything maybe the smell will drive everything away b/c this stuff smells worse than neem!