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One of my "Green Daleks" - plastic composters really - is home to a whole family of slow worms, Kate. They are very beautiful. I was just this morning showing another volunteer at the Botanic Garden the good slugs, which were out in force today after last night's downpours.
I've only just read your lovely blog, but I too made an entry about hoverflies and their larvae as they are all over the wood I survey. Great minds eh?
I am just about to purchase another compost bin as mine is full and I am having to take my pressuos cuttings down to the tip, I know they recycle the waste and make compost of it, I wouldn't like to buy it though as people put in deseased garden waste.
Crumbs, I have learnt something about yellow slugs today, in future I shall give those a reprieve from my edging iron or dutch hoe. But I do wish someone would tell me how to stop those horrible tiny flies that inhabit my bins. They swarm up in my face as soon as I lift the lids or disturb the contents. What are they and what do they do?
One of my compost heaps is untouchable - honey bees have made it their home. I rang the local bee keepers who warned me not to touch until the end of September. I have put wire netting over it in case enthusiastic grandchildren give it a poke!


I didn't know about yellow slugs, Kate, and it's great news, so thanks. Is there any significance in other slug colours? I wish I had your friendly attitude to creepy crawlies - so far worms are the only ones I've learned to like, and even then can't I suppress a shudder at some of the bigger ones. What a wimp! Hopefully I'll improve with gardening time. We used to have tiny flies, Mrs Wick, that rose in a black cloud into your face every time you opened the lid. On a hunch, I stopped adding fruit to the compost heap and they stopped dropping by.
Happymarion - last week dormice and now slow worms! I'm so jealous. I doubt there are many of those living near my garden... thediariesofacountrygirl - ooh can you tell us more about he wood your survey? Is it the wood or the wildlife in the wood that you survey? mrswick - they're probably just fruit flies. Mandy's tip of not adding fruit to the heap should do the trick, but there should be plenty else in living the heap to eat the flies, and they're all helping the waste break down... rosieslade - you're the second person this week to tell me about honeybees finding and nesting in your garden. I'm jealous of you too. I'd be tempted to let them stay... I've never seen see a honeybee colony in its wild state... Mandy - you'll get there, I'm sure. Kate
Many thanks about the info about the Limaz Flavus - I have been feeding them to my chickens!! instead I will feed them to my compost bins!!
Ants and mice - it sounds like your compost bin is too dry. Is it in full sun ? Here's some composting tips for positioning your compost bin:
The mice in the compost heap at the Botanic garden made their nests by the warm wall which was the back of it. When the gardeners forked it over to aeriate it they would find 13 or so babies in a cosy nest.
I am new to gardening and after acquiring a very high maintenance garden when my Mum moved out I am just about to purchase my first compost bin (at a subsidised rate from the council!), wish me luck!
hi happymarion,do you work at the botanical gardens in bristol?? if so will you be at the bee event in sept? my daughter has asked me if she can go so we may go for a day out just depends how im feeling. hope you are well and hello poppy...dont get to worried about the rats just give the council a ring they are there to help and remember they deal with theses situations all the time. thoses plug in things are rubbish ,i brought 1 for the same purpose and it didnt work either,at 1 point i had about 15 in my garden and actually ive still got them but im not to bothered,mind you now i am a bit as ive read the blog about electric ,happymarion,me to didnt think of that. i also think that poison stays in the mud for ages so do be very very careful with your little dog,maybe remove that soil and put it in a few black bags,,,not sure if washing it all down ie hose or rain helps ....maybe other bloggers know... good luck. my daughter loved your picture of mouse and the story kate.x
Sarah's pondlife, how great you can come to the Bee and Pollination week-end. There will be lots for you and your daughter to enjoy. I will certainly be there on one of the days at least. We have been having to put up with builders all summer as the sewage and electricals for the house needed attention but, hopefully, a lot of the industrial plant will have disappeared. Poppy, do try to remember the disease that rats can cause humans - their urine in an open scratch or a bite from a disease-carrying rat-flea can be fatal. Do get expert help for your problem and , in the meantime, always wear gloves when gardening.
I have been unable to use one of my compost bins this year as a colony of bumble bees has taken over. Occasionally I have a peep to see how they are. A week or so back I had to be careful about mowing my lawn as the bees seem to be enjoying my clover. However I have runner beens growing alongside the bin and I notice the bees take off from the bin and fly over to my neighbours garden - how ungrateful for the accommodation!
I am not anti-slug; I now feed them and they are quite engaging(!); they learn to come for food and I feed them bits of bread and cheese. They do me no harm. I grow stuff that doesn't attract them anyway but they are there anyway. They do a lot of clearing up; old leaves, anything mucky, they don't really eat my plants except occasionally and I forgive them as they do such a good job tidying up.


morning happymarion,well i will let you know what day [hopefully] we are going if i cant make it [due to my snake bite]my husband will go with izzie.. my daughter loves bees and really wants to go ..
What a interesting and fun thread with so many different 'beasties' in everyone's compost!! I can now add Toads to the ever increasing list!...I have been inundated with toads and little baby frogs all over the garden this year which is great to see as they will eat up a few of my resident slugs! I did have a grass snake in the garden near the compost bins last summer but not sure if it came out of a bin or not.... Higgy
I have an abundance of Plums,I hate waste,is it OK to put the surplus into my compost bin???
Taffy - why don't you get in touch with the people at Fruit Share ( I'm sure lots of people would be happy to take some plums off you (but yes, the compost bin is fine). Kate