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I would probably do all of the above. Spread the soil out for birds to pick through, use nematodes of which I have had some success, sift soil and have used provado on hostas I've replanted last year and on a large potted rhodo that I can in no way lift.
I have also lobbied my MP about the conversation that is currently taking place in parliament on the use of pesticides and the protection of bees. I acknowledge that global warming IS taking place and that my local fruit farm which IS organic has lost 30 % of its bee population over the winter. Without bees we cannot have a fruitful existance as huge crops depend on it for their and our very survival. I do agree that a single plant in every garden treated with pesticide has a alltogether large effect, but the pesticide industries have a much much bigger effect. Sort the big users out and nature will cope very well with the little users, is my humble opiniion, for what its worth.
There is every place around this forum for ALL personal opinions, however strong and thank goodness for that. There is no place for bullying though. Just as long as our opinions are shared and not forced, other asking their question can then make their own informed minds up. Thanks to those who have put web site details & I will update my own knnowledge on these pesticides
Daffygardener, good timing! The EU has just (today) approved the banning of three neonicotenoids, ones that are used on a commercial scale such as imidacloprid. The active ingredient in Provado Ultimate Bug Killer and Vine Weevil Killer (thiacloprid) is not affected by the ruling, so the big volume users have been tackled, and gardeners still have choices available to them.
The EU has voted to SUSPEND the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, not ban them outright, this is so an unbiased investigation may take place to find out if they are having the effect on bees that has been stated.
I try to garden as organically as possible, but for some things it is far easier to use chemicals. If I didn't use glyphosate I'd be fighting a losing battle with the brambles. It would be nice if the dyed-in-the-wool orgasmic gardeners on here (sorry, that's the word we use in our house in place of organic - I'm going to have to stop that with two pairs of little ears listening in), suggested an organic alternative, instead of slating those of us who choose to use chemicals. I'd love to be able to use something to get rid of the brambles instead of glyphosate, but unless an organic gardener on here would like to come over to my house one weekend and help me dig the buggers out, which is by far the best way to get rid of them completely, then I'll have to use glyphosate to try to keep them under control, just to stop them spreading and making the problem even worse.
Until someone comes up with organic ways of dealing with certain things, that are as good as the chemical methods, I will be using chemicals. I did contact an organic gardening company to see if ladybird larvae would be any good at clearing up an infestation of wooly aphid, they said for a bad infestation use a pyrethrum based insecticide, which is apparently OK, as it's plant based. But an organic company saying 'use this pesticide' made me grin wryly!
More specifically, they have suspended the use of them on certain crops. they can be used on crops that do not attract bees, such as cereal crops. They cannot be used on rape , poppies, etc..
I am 70 in May and have lived here for 50 years. I thank my fate for bringing me here, and have made the UK my home for just ONE reason-FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
It made me feel very uncomfortable to read this posting.There are some autocratic people who want to force us to do what they feel is right-period.
This is a forum to stimulate discussions and opinions. Please, can we be a bit more sensitive of other members feelings.
With perfect timing, I looked at a large tub of heucheras and primulas yesterday, and, deciding that they really didn't seem to be thriving, decided to dig them up and repot them individually. The reason they weren't thriving was painfully obvious - hundreds of pesky VW grubs had chomped through the roots! I salvalged a few bits that had what may prove to be viable roots still attached, and drenched the new pots with Provado. I then turned the soil over in the tub and spread the grubs out on a tray, much to the delight of Mrs Blackbird, who clearly has a hungry brood to feed. The residual tub of compost, doubtless still infected with some grubs etc. was also given the drench.
As I type this, there is an item on the news about the decline in bees, and the possibility of the link with certain pesticides. Now, when I took the action that I did yesterday, I hadn't realised that neonicitonoids and Provado were effectively one and the same. I shall think long and hard before considering its use again should I see the need.
For once I do find myself in agreement with the European proposal for a suspension of the use of these products while further research is carried out. But experts don't seem to be able to agree, so I hope they really do crack on with the research and find the answer.
Thank you to Pamela for asking a timely question on VW and their larva, all for contributions and to Jatnikyapyar for putting more plainly what I was thinking. BUT - Pamelas queston was - would the problem of VW be spread if the soil was spread out? Not asking for a heated debate on the merits or otherwise of pesticide use, although that is a topic which can run and run....................................!
I feel that there are likely higher concentrations of VW and their larva in pots as there is a better temperature and conditions for their lifecycle and to thrive. There also appears to be less predators than plants placed in open ground. The adults are very difficult to see in compost unless they begin to move, touch one and they fall over and play dead, the grubs are relatively easy and they are to ones that do the damage to roots. Will Pamela spread the problem? - possibly, but if the soil is laid out as others and Shrinking Violet has done, and retire to let the birds loose on it - any spread will be limited. There are likely to be VW in other areas of your garden, if you find them in pots. Go for what ever control method you feel is appropriate for your situation, in my opinion.
Goldilocks - I really am sorry if my comments came over as patronising or bullying - I apologise - it was absolutely not my intention - a lot happening and a lot on my mind at the moment and I'm possibly not re-reading my posts as carefully as I usually do - but that is no excuse.
What I had intended to do was to point out that one application of Provado to the soil is now thought to poison the pollen of the plant - but I should have been more careful how I said it. I am sorry
I do feel feel pretty strongly about pesticides - I grew up on a farm in the 50s and 60s where there was so much wildlife - ponds teaming sticklebacks and with spawning frogs and toads at this time of year, slow worms and grass snakes in the banks and barn owls calling every evening. Then farmers were told to use pesticides on their crops - in those days there were no precautions whatsoever - surplus spray from the tanks would be washed out into the ponds and the ditches - within a few years they were dead and full of anaerobic sludge,no frogs or toads, no barn owls, no skylarks .... I saw it all happening before my own eyes but as a child no one listened to me....
perhaps I became that ten year old again jumping up and down and shouting.... I'm sorry
Many thanks, Dovefromabove. I do think it's great that we can discuss these big issues on the board, and because we can hold such passionate views it can get a bit heated at times.
In isolation your posting wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest ( I read your links!) , but I was already rankled by an earlier posting implying that I was "into killing bees" and thought, "here we go, is this the beginning of a nasty squabble." with boarders I really don't want to fall out with, and wondered whether the "less organic / less passionate / more pragmatic" boarders would keep their heads down so that the discussion would be very one sided, distorting the picture for the many visitors to the site who read but do not post messages. I was quite relieved to see some later contributions that provided some balance.
How nice to read the above two posts - veritable peace breaking out! sometimes it does seem as if people want their view to supersede all others, and it can make a board a pretty uncomfortable place. I thought hard before I posted, but I think overall there's a good balance of opinion.
Incidentally, (and also with prescient timing) we have visitors staying with us from Canada. Where we grow vast acreages of oilseed rape, they grow canola. The seed is treated in the same way ie with neonicotinoid before planting, and there is, apparently, no problem with large numbers of bees dying off.
As I said upthread - let's hope that the experts can really find an answer - soon!
Apparently Australia has been treating crops with neonictinoids for the last ten years and their bees are as healthy as ever.
Th British Beekeepers Association says it doesn't think the restriction should have been introduced as it fears that farmers will use chemicals that are known to be harmful to bees, but hope that the 2 year restriction will resolve the question one way or another.
I think I found a VW grup in a potted fuchsia this morning. Which other plants do they distroy?
As far as I know, most things. I've had them eat lily roots and mint, a neighbour's had them attack a rose too. All the above have been in containers, though, and I think that's one of their favourite habitats, especially if the drainage isn't as good as it could be.
I do know of folk who've been plagued by them in their garden borders as well.
Besides loving practically anything in pots, I know they love heucheras and sedums in open ground. They have killed quite a few of mine.
Flipping little bar stewards . We just need to see and stamp on the little critters. You only really find out when your lovely plant collapses with no root system.
The BBKA have just said that they don't feel they are convinced that neonictinoids are the cause of bee death (Amateur Gardening). In addition France have just lifted a 10 year ban on these with no crash in their bee population. Australia doesn't have a problem with verroa mite. Maybe the problem is a combination of mite, weather, winter, cold, starvation and some chemicals. We all urgently need answers. Keep that 10 year old shouting Dovefromabove,
VW love Heucheras, fuschias,primulas and the like, azaleas Rhodos etc in pots, pelargoniums,....yes they do go for sedums too, surprised me that.
In pots gravel on the surface does seem to protect against vine weevils. John innes composts do better than mpc and sieved soil mixed with mpc seem less attactive to vine weevils too.
Any primula or Heuchera that looks lethargic is worth digging up and "cleaning" at this time of the year
My first encounter with vine weevil was with a Madagascan Dragon Tree plant I bought in a local B&Q Garden Centre. The plant just faded & died and on investigating the soil discovered these little white sickle shaped grubs with orange heads. I haven't really been troubled with the little critters in the garden until this year but my carrot bed is infested with them & I've decided to start again but need to deal with the pests first. I don't want to use chemicals & I've never used nematodes but am considering that as one option: or heat treating the soil to sterilise it but I'm not sure just how deep the pests bury themselves.
Hi again everyone!
Thank you for all your valuable advice and such an interesting debate to follow.
A quick update - I spread the soil out for a day or two (much to the excitement of my two jack russells!) then used it to top up a depleted border that had had elderly lavender in it for many years (now removed and I'm questionning whether to add it to the compost heap).
As a stop gap before I think of something more dramatic to do I have planted the border up with pretty bedding plants (with the help of lovely hubby) and have stood back to see what happens.
Everything is healthy so far, early days though. I have since found one VW grub which was unceremoniously squashed!
I would not add to the compost heap. There will prob be eggs not easily seen so best to leave where it is.
Thanks Verdun - what about adding the lavender?