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Posts Tagged ‘copper slug and snail tape’

At this time of the year many of us will have pots or trays that are overflowing with young vegetables and flowers that are ready to be planted outside, many of these young plants will have been grown in a porch, conservatory, greenhouse or on the windowsill where they will have got accustomed to warm temperatures. Deciding when to plant out can be quite tricky, although day time temperatures on average are rising, cold snaps, strong winds and clear skies with frosts can damage or even kill your prized plants.

The key to the transition from a warm, cosy environment to the big outdoors is ‘Hardening off’, Hardening off is the process of preparing your tender plants to cope with harsher outdoor conditions including lower temperatures, lower humidity and winds, it can take two to three weeks before they are ready to be planted outdoors. Hardening off will thicken and alter the plant’s leaf structure and increase its waxiness, further new growth will be sturdy and slower than if they are grown in the greenhouse, hardening off frost-sensitive plants will unfortunately not make them hardy.

cold_frame3-01

How to harden off your plants

A cold frame is perfect for hardening off your plants, the clear hinged lid lets in adequate light and can be propped open slightly wider every few days to slowly introduce your plants to outside temperatures, closing it again at night, leave the lid fully open for the last few days prior to planting out. Position your cold frame where it will receive some sun but not all of the day, the best time to begin hardening off is when it is cloudy thus avoiding high afternoon temperatures and frosty nights, the insulating wooden frame will help maintain temperatures overnight.

Clear Panel Wooden Cold Frame With 2cm Thick Boards - Easily Extendable

Protect your plants from pests

If you have grown some tasty crops you can be sure that if not protected the slugs and snails will get to them first, apply copper slug and snail tape around the top of the cold frame to stop them from coming in, if you have any small gaps around the cold frame base sit your plants on a layer of slug gone this irritates the slugs/snails foot and they will look for food elsewhere. Place enviromesh netting over the cold frame to protect your crops from insects whilst they are at their most vulnerable.

Slug

Use your Cold Frame all year round

Cold frames are very useful, they can be used to extend the growing season, crops can be started off earlier in a cold frame than if they were sown/planted directly in the ground, frost tender crops grown in containers can be protected in a cold frame from Autumn frosts to extend cropping. Tender plants can be overwintered in a cold frame. Fruits and Vegetables that benefit from higher temperatures i.e. Melons, Chillies will produce a better crop if grown in a Cold Frame.

Red Chillies

Happy Gardening

Gill

 

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The warm weather has really made a big difference to our gardens, with lots of things emerging; buds, leaves, flowers, seedlings, butterflies, ladybirds, creatures and unfortunately ‘pests’ including:

Lily Beetles

Lily beetleThese are hard to miss they are like bright red jewels with a black head and legs and appear on your Fritillaries and Lilies, the adult beetles munch away at the flowers, leaves, stems and buds and their larvae, which are reddish brown with black heads, eat the leaves. Heavy infestations can be treated with organic pesticides, smaller populations can be picked off by hand ‘carefully’ as they soon drop off the plants and disappear into the undergrowth, you can report sightings of Lily Beetles on the RHS website, they are monitoring the spread of this pest. These two were spotted in my garden and quickly removed.

Ants

Ant Control - Nemasys No Ants

Ants are now becoming increasingly active, the ‘family’ that live under the flags in my greenhouse are becoming rather busy there are not a lot of them and they are not a problem, in summer when the flying young emerge I open the greenhouse doors and the Sparrows go in and feast on them. Large populations of ants can be a problem especially in the lawn or the garden borders creating mounds of earth and root disturbance.

Treat the affected areas with Nemasys No Ants which contains nematodes, it is safe for you, your children, pets, wildlife and for using near food crops, we had an enquiry this week regarding the Nemasys No Ants the customer was having problems with ants in their lawn, they were removing the newly sown grass seed.

Vine Weevils

Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer

It is at this time of the year that the adult beetles emerge and nibble the leaves of your plants, the beetles then lay their eggs on the plant root ball, these eggs hatch into grubs which feast on the roots and cause permanent damage or even death to your prized and often expensive container plants. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer contains nematodes which attack the grubs before they attack your plants it is safe to use on indoor and outdoor containers as well as on food crops such as herbs and strawberries it is safe for you, your children, pets and wildlife.

Slugs

Nemaslug Slug Killer - Nematodes

It has been reported in the news recently that this year we can expect an invasion of larger than normal slugs (it sounds like a horror story), this is because of the mild winters and wetter summers, Slugs are active above 5C so have been reproducing through the winter when normally they are dormant, Slugs not only munch your prized flowers and your tasty vegetable crops they can also contain Lungworms which may infect dogs and be fatal to them. Nemaslug Slug Killer contains nematodes which invade the slug and kill it, it is safe to you, your children, pets and wildlife including birds, hedgehogs, frogs, toads and ground beetles who love to feed on slugs and their eggs.

slugAnother increasingly popular safe Slug control are Slug Gone which is natural pure organic wool pellets, spread a layer around your plants, once wet they swell and form a barrier which irritates the slugs foot so it looks for food elsewhere, they are ideal for organic gardening and can be used in pots, flower beds, borders, allotments, herb gardens, nurseries, garden centres, green houses and vegetable plots. Copper Slug and Snail Protection Tape is another method of Slug prevention, place the tape around the top of your pots, containers and Raised Beds, it does not kill slugs but gives them a small electrical shock which deters them from crossing over.

Be vigilant and act now before your pests become a problem

Gill

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Snail

On the whole this year it has been dry but the recent wet weather combined with mild temperatures has brought out all the slugs and snails (big and small, young and old) in the garden and on the allotment and which no doubt will take advantage of any remaining flowers and crops.

When we moved into our house twenty years ago the garden was a wilderness, you could not really call it a garden and the populations of slugs and snails that it contained was unbelievable, I couldn’t kill them as I believe that every creature has a place and a purpose on this earth, but as a keen gardener I knew that they just had to go somewhere else and that was in the surrounding fields, after dark when they emerged I collected them in a carrier bag and moved them to their new home the following day. I am sure that a lot of people must have thought I was mad but it did the trick and since we put a pond in the back garden and the frogs moved in they are now at a manageable level.

If slugs and snails are a problem in your garden and you want to stop them from eating your plants here are some environmentally friendly ideas and products that can help:

The Urban Bird Feeder

Birds   Attract birds into your garden with bird feederswater dishes and nest boxes, they will in return eat many garden pests including slugs, snails, caterpillars, aphids, ants etc.

HEDGEHOG

Hedgehogs    Encourage Hedgehogs to visit and make their home in your garden with a Hedgehog House placed in a quiet corner along with some Hedgehog food, ensure that they can come in and out of your garden by making some small openings in your fence.

Frogs & spawn

Build a pond    A pond is a magnet for all types of wildlife especially frogs and toads which eat slugs and snails.

Slug Gone   Place a layer of Slug Gone Organic Wool Pellets around your plants, made from the dagging fleece of the sheep, the wool fibres as well as the sand, grit and potassium salts that it contains irritate the foot of the slug/snail forcing them to feed elsewhere.

Slug & Snail Trap - Pack of 2

Slug and Snail traps   Bury the pots near to vulnerable plants and fill with beer or sugar water, the slugs and snails will come for a drink and fall in the pot.

Nemaslug Slug Killer

Nemaslug Slug Killer   A natural control containing nematodes that are found naturally in the soil, simply mix with water and apply every 6 weeks around your plants or on areas that are affected.

Copper Slug & Snail Tape

Copper Slug and Snail Tape    Ideal if you garden in containers, placed around the tops of pots, planters and raised beds the copper tape gives off a tiny electrical charge which deters them from crossing the tape.

…. or as a last resort you could always move them in a carrier bag!!

I quite like snails they are quirky looking, do you remember Brian the Snail on Magic Roundabout?

Love your environment

Gill

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At this time of the year many of us will have pots or trays that are overflowing with young vegetables and flowers that are ready to be planted outside, many of these young plants will have been grown in a porch, conservatory, greenhouse or on the windowsill where they will have got accustomed to warm temperatures. Deciding when to plant out can be quite tricky, although day time temperatures on average are rising, cold snaps, strong winds and clear skies with frosts can damage or even kill your prized plants.

The key to the transition from a warm, cosy environment to the big outdoors is ‘Hardening off’, Hardening off is the process of preparing your tender plants to cope with harsher outdoor conditions including lower temperatures, lower humidity and winds, it can take two to three weeks before they are ready to be planted outdoors. Hardening off will thicken and alter the plant’s leaf structure and increase its waxiness, further new growth will be sturdy and slower than if they are grown in the greenhouse, hardening off frost-sensitive plants will unfortunately not make them hardy.

cold_frame3-01

How to harden off your plants

A cold frame is perfect for hardening off your plants, the clear hinged lid lets in adequate light and can be propped open slightly wider every few days to slowly introduce your plants to outside temperatures, closing it again at night, leave the lid fully open for the last few days prior to planting out. Position your cold frame where it will receive some sun but not all of the day, the best time to begin hardening off is when it is cloudy thus avoiding high afternoon temperatures and frosty nights, the insulating wooden frame will help maintain temperatures overnight.

Standard MINI Cold Frame

Protect your plants from pests

If you have grown some tasty crops you can be sure that if not protected the slugs and snails will get to them first, apply copper slug and snail tape around the top of the cold frame to stop them from coming in, if you have any small gaps around the cold frame base sit your plants on a layer of slug gone this irritates the slugs/snails foot and they will look for food elsewhere. Place enviromesh netting over the cold frame to protect your crops from insects whilst they are at their most vulnerable.

Slug

Use your Cold Frame all year round

Cold frames are very useful, they can be used to extend the growing season, crops can be started off earlier in a cold frame than if they were sown/planted directly in the ground, frost tender crops grown in containers can be protected in a cold frame from Autumn frosts to extend cropping. Tender plants can be overwintered in a cold frame. Fruits and Vegetables that benefit from higher temperatures i.e. Melons, Chillies will produce a better crop if grown in a Cold Frame.

Red Chillies

Happy Gardening

Gill

 

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