by Jane Moore

I'm really loving this freezing weather. My hands and feet aren't very happy, though, despite my recent investment in 'serious' socks.

Frosted holly leavesI'm really loving this freezing weather. My hands and feet aren't very happy, though, despite my recent investment in 'serious' socks. What's making me so happy is the thought of all those garden pests perishing during the frosty nights.

I'm hoping next year my plot will be free of aphids, brassica whitefly and countless other pests that survive mild winters, and multiply with a vengeance in early spring. Mild winters are a boon to many garden pests; pests such as whitefly can shelter in the folds of leaves, only to emerge during the harvest of crops such as winter kale or purple-sprouting broccoli.

Hopefully vine weevil larvae and chafer grubs will also be seriously diminished by the cold snap. I'm also crossing my fingers that hungry birds, with fewer bugs to munch, will work harder to rid my plot of those 'nasties' that are left.

I'm positively gleeful thinking how much damage this weather is doing to the UK pest population. This might seem morbid, but I've been a gardener for 20 years. I've seen the bugs come and go, their empires rise and fall, and I know that cold winter weather is good news.

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Talkback: Frost
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Gardeners' World Web User 18/12/2008 at 15:29

We are getting to the stage where we need to put manure on our allotment again, but are fearful after many horror stories of manure carrying chemical poisons, which have badly affected the ability to grow crops over quite a long period. Does anyone have any advice on this? Does bagged manure have any advantange over manure direct from the farm?

Gardeners' World Web User 10/02/2009 at 21:44

northwood kirkby allotments i went and got bags of manure last year from my garden centre and i had no problems with it next week i am going to get sume more so at the moment i am going to keep to that.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:37

Jane -- I'd like to be as gleeful about what the frosts are doing to pests as you are, but sadly I'm not! I came in an hour ago from the veg. plot with a good crop of caterpillars off my sprouts, [both the "camouflage green" + the black/yellow striped varieties] and the some of the beasts 11/2inces long. We've had a few frosts here in Norfolk to -3deg., and snow, but they are just as lively as 3 months ago. I've been gardening for over 50 years, and can't remember a year like it! (Picked outdoor strawberries on 2nd Oct., and [unheated]g/house beefsteak toms on 17th Nov. - it must be this "climate change"] If I knew how, I'd post a couple of pictures ----- , It'd be nice to have a REAL winter this time! We can wish!