Snails are a common garden pest

Snails and slugs destroy so many young plants.

18-11-2019Gemma Andreu¶

We all have something we really hate and in gardening you can be sure it is no different to any other. In fact I do mention from time to time some of those things that annoy me so today I am going to put them all together and perhaps even try to put them right.

Let’s start with slugs and snails, I really hate them, they destroy so many young plants. There is of course snail bait available from the garden shops, I am never quite sure if the bait entices these slippery creatures in to try it and then they die or what, because there always seems to just as many as before putting the bait down. Squashing them underfoot really makes sure they don’t slide away. I did mention last week that if you want to throw them over the garden wall, make sure it is more than 100 yards away because they will always come back.

My next hate is the vine weevil that attacks the other end of the plant, its roots. In many cases it isn’t until a potted plant looks unhappy or wilted that we think of upending the pot and discover these fat little white grubs in the soil around the roots. These are another of the ‘squashed uderfoot’ as the instant method. If you have hens at the bottom of the garden these really will make short shrift of them, its almost like giving sweets to children. No matter how, they must be got rid of.

As much as I like cats and dogs, I really don’t like other people’s animals in my garden. Cats will always find their way in , over the wall, through the hedge, nothing seems to stop them and it is usually just to use a nice tidy patch of newly planted seeds as their toilet. At least they cover up their leavings but end up scratching up all the seeds. The only answer seems to be to try and frighten them off. Dogs are another matter, should you inadvertently leave the garden gate open, your lawn will be the first stop any stray dog will be attracted to. A pile of dog turds on the footpath is always disgusting and a constant fight in any municipality but when it comes to your own front lawn that is another matter. The only cure to that is to always sure to shut the garden gate.

Weeds, well they say a weed is simply another plant in the wrong place. Some you just chop off and hope they dont come back, very young ones on newly dug soil can be dug into the ground where they decompose and and return the nutrients within them into the soil.
My big hate is the Oxalis that comes back year after year, nothing seems to deter it.
This really is a hands and knees job to pull them up by the roots.

After the rain the soil is moister and allows the whole weed to come up right down to the last inch of its really long root, only then will you be sure that that one won’t come back again.

And the last one on my hate list today must surely be the wind, oh how I hate the winter winds but that is something we can do nothing at all about.

Well, be sure that delicate potted plants are moved to a sheltered part, even indoors if needs be. Get started on the pruning and cutting back of shrubs and trees. They will get really battered in high winds and then, all you are left with is the constant sweeping up of the fallen leaves.

Make sure all your fencing is well supported to avoid them blowing over either damaging any plants they support in your own garden or the neighbour’s. Check young trees that may still need to be supported to insure they don’t rock in high winds. Looking at the world weather maps these days it seem like nothing but high winds are on their way so be prepared.

This month ESRA has published the schedule for their 2020 annual Flower and Craft show. It may seem to be months away but everything needs time, planting up the different potted plants or stitching the items suggested. The date is mid May and the venue once again will be the Santa Domingo Cloister in Pollensa.

I know this is six months away but ESRA members are encouraged to look forewrd to this date and where the gardening is concerned it is never too soon to get started.

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