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Kate, it is pouring with rain in Bristol and I have just dashed out and lifted everything I have in pots with lush new growth onto the picnic table out of reach of the slugs and snails who will be roaming around tonight. Being a gardener means using all your wits if you want to defeat wild life on the look-out for a tasty meal. I too am hoping for help from the frogs, if the heron has left me any. He has been swooping down on my garden a lot in the last few weeks.
I also leave the ladybirds to gobble up all the greenfly and blackfly for me. Besides frogs I am also very lucky to always have slow worms in the garden to sort out the slugs for me. Snails seem to be my problem but the population can be kept down by going out at nights with a touch and picking them up and beer traps work well. I never knew that frogs ate vine weevil, thank you for that bit of information. I am growing Broccoli Tenderstem-Green in very large pots for the first time this year and they are well protected with nets to keep the Cabbage White butterflies off! Runner Beans, Broad Beans, Carrots, Parsnips, Raspberries and Strawberries are all doing well. My first batch of peas failed but not being one to give up and to learn from my mistakes the second batch is growing well. To make up for the lack of early peas the first early potatoes, Foremost, have produced a wonderful crop and are delicious with a knob of butter! At long last we had a down pour here in South Devon and the garden had a good soaking this afternoon, more rain is promised for this weekend.
We have had a lot of rain in Bristol and I have been busy picking up slugs and snails from the path and putting them in the hedge for the birds. The worms will be coming to the surface now which will be good news for the very hungry, newly fledged baby robin at the Botanic Garden. His parents were having trouble finding him any food and,even although it is full of worm material from our home made compost, the worms were few and far between in the veg. garden where I was planting beans. I eventually dug up one two inch one and took it to the youngster. That's as far as I can go in killing or, helping to kill, anything living.
I have grass snakes in my raised vegetable beds. They disturb the soil and seedlings and I don't like them. Has anyone any ideas on what to do?
Hooray! Gardener's after my own heart! No ladybird glut here yet (South Yorkshire), but I'm hoping. I've managed to defeat the slugs and snails so far this year by growing my salad leaves in pots in a wheelbarrow. This means I can quickly put them under cover too. My first lot this year were shredded by a hailstorm! Up to now I've just depended on huge sacrificial Hostas which grow stronger and bigger each year inspite of being 'laced' by slugs and snails. I thought water shortage was the cause of my stunted peas, but a thorough soaking the other day caused the soil to cave in showing a mole run underneath! I nearly weeded out the dandelions on the lawn, though I love the yellow flowers. But then I saw a pair of bullfinches feasting on the seedheads, so I've decided to leave them - or could I eat them too? I would love to be a successful veg gardener, but more than that I love the diversity of wildlife in my garden and the shop down the road which prevents our starvation. barbarav - i'm sorry you don't like your grass snakes. I'm actually really envious.


Help!- I have 5 big tubs/sacks of potatoes which were doing very well but have just seen lots of spots on leaves - ? blight. Taking no chances so have cut off all greenery and disposed of safely.Have lifted about 3lbs which will last me some time but can I safely leave the others in the tubs and if so how long? Also I have lots of broad bean plants which had plenty of flowers but so far not a bean in sight. Usually at this time I am eating them every day and giving them away! All advice gratefully received
Try essential oil sprays. I was given a book called The Fragrant Pharmacy and it has a gardens section. I made a family of Flea Beetles evacuate my flower bed by spraying them with a couple of drops of peppermint oil in 1 litre of water in a spray bottle! Green aphids were attacking my lettuces on the windowsill and were banished by my peppermint spray too. Ants, Cats and dogs hate it too if that helps. Oh and I have not had problems with them (yet) but Blackfly is repelled by Lavender essential oil. I do find the ladybirds help too and they don't seem to have been affected by the oils.
Peppermint oil in water spray sounds good. Something has been attacking my beans, eating the leaves but not touching the veins until the plant looks like a 'skeleton'. It's not slugs and snails because there is no slime trail at all, also they tend to eat the whole leaf over a few nights. I've been told it could be adult vine weevil, so it might be worth seeing if peppermint oil will work? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
i have found large bugs in my garden they are chafer beetles they lay there eggs they hatch into grubs which devistate lawns they like sandy soil
Happymarion - you are very dedicated! Row - I don't think adult vine weevils are a frog's favourite food, but they will eat them if nothing else is around. The blackbird likes picking through my pots to find the grubs, however. barbarav - I'm also jealous of your grass snakes. Can you sow your seeds elsewhere and transplant them to the raised beds when they're big enough to sustain being slithered over? Josephine from Wilts - it's a bit early for blight, but if it had infected the leaves then you were right to remove them. However, how the tubers are will depend on how quickly you cut off the haulms. If blight spread to the tubers, then it's curtains for your spuds. If not, you can leave them in the compost as long as it's dry. Any rain may wash blight spores into the compost and infect the spuds, so - if in doubt - get them out! Dan Martin - go on, leave the aphids be, what's the worst that can happen?! mervyn willetts - I have lots of chafer grubs in my garden too, and loads and loads of leatherjackets, the larvae of daddy long legs. The blackbird and robin love pecking through the borders to find them Kate
I have a massive buddleja bush. The flowers are yellow balls and it is in full bloom. I have great pleasure watching the bumblebees, butterflies and other insects feeding on the pollen. This is the part of the garded I am leaving alone.Some insect I have never seen before.
I have just found this blog which really seems to be buzzing and intend to stay. I didn't know about the essential oils and so will take that on board. Thanks. I too bought a buddleia bush but the flowers are not there yet and some of the bottom leaves are a bit yellow so I am unsure whether it is too wet or too dry. Complete beginner I'm afraid. I live in Ireland and the weather can be very troublesome so we are a bit behind I think. Also living here with all this rain we could have a constant slug party. I am forever checking the cabbage at the mo but they do sometimes beat me.
Thanks for all the tips etc. Has anyone any suggestions on dealing with earwigs? They are eating my lettuces to bits.
I have noticed that my cranebill(with purple flowers) have finish flowering. It has taken over a large area, tne leaves look as if something is drilling little holes. I am going to cut them back. What insect is causing it? Can anyone help?
Hi we got an allotment this year and ive started growing carrots whilst i was wattering ive noticed what looks like tiny brown eggs on the edges of the leaves ive looked at alot of sites about pests and alot of them are just about carrot root fly and i cant see anything like what i have got can anybody help?


Hi All, As many others I try to let nature do it's thing generally and hope that over time the balance in the garden will be such that I don't lose too many plants to bugs! I suppose this may seem a little naive but I build wild life areas for a reason and so far I have several toads making use of log piles and piles of old stones, last summer we had a grass snake visit and over the last couple of weeks we have had swarms of lady birds! My only real loss so far this year were some corn flowers which I planted in the wild flower meadow as plugs (the slugs feasted on these like they were going out of fashion!) The next two lots of corn flower plugs I grew on and planted out when they were much bigger, so far (touch wood) they seem ok! the garden is only just over a year old I'm hoping that the bio diversity will get better and better as the years go on?? Higgy
OH, Higgy50, the biodiversity certainly will and you will be rewarded for your care. I try not to be smug when I hear of people's woes like your tale of your cornflowers but I found out many years ago that slugs and pigeons love anything lush and green and try to put my plants out well grown. Did you get to visit the Botanic garden in Bristol yesterday? I was tied up on the West Terrace weeding all day so I saw little of the visitors. The Garden is where you will see biodiversity par excellence with its plants from many parts of the world as well as native plants and very beautiful it looks too. Even our common English daisy, ground ivy and the scarlet pimpernel look lovely when grown in bulk with appropriate neighbours!!
Dear All like a previous letter blogger I've just discovered this site - so far so good! Recently I moved from a 4th floor apartment to a 2nd floor apartment 2 streets away. Problem is with ants. I didn't have any for almost 8 years and now in the new place I spotted some on leaves and crawling along the floor and top of the balcony railing. They appear to be black with a red or reddish rear end! Those I pick off get squashed [by fingers] but am I doing them an injustice? Should I just let them get on with it? However I do find it odd and have no idea where they come/came from or where they go! Any ideas? Couldn't find anything on ants on this site. Many Thanks J
ps... thanks to the lady from Essex I'm going to try the peppermint spray. nb.... I live in Nice S.France and the weather is v.humid at the moment overcast and storms threatened.
jardineadomicile, ants hate the smell of oranges so save all your orange peel,cut ie into very small pieces and sprinkle them round your balcony, especially where they are entering. Also, they love anything sweet(except oranges)so make sure there is no sugar around.