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What's eating my....Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!



  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,580
    Needs of today vs wants of today. There is rarely ever a need for plastic grass for example.
    Vine weevils, rats and toddlers are the only destructive creatures that I've had to control in the garden and I think the rest seems to have a good balance now. With new build gardens though it takes time to build up an ecosystem so it's not always a bad thing to have to protect your plants in the early years of the garden as long as you have a sustainable goal to work towards.
    Some people bring joy wherever they go. Others, whenever they go. - Mark Twain.
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 763
    You’re quite right @Posy, it’s very easy to fall into the lazy trap of using “chemicals” as a shorthand for non-natural or damaging/poisonous products.

    I firgot vine weevils - I contract out the killing for those, if I find any I spread the compost out on an old compost bag and let the birds do the deed for me.
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants W Mids Posts: 894
    I only use slug pellets sparingly for a few plants when they’re seedlings like sunflowers and marrows but I forget sometimes and it’s pot luck whether slugs get to them or not. Sometimes I think about not using it and seeing how it goes and accept some losses. I just don’t want to lose all the squash and marrow plants but I will leave the sunflowers now.
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,376
    I kill aphids and kill lily beetles and net my brassicas but basically that's it.  Luckily not too bothered by slugs as we have frogs but we do have snails.  Their shells are so pretty I tend to just throw them into an open bit of ground and hope that something will come along and eat them.  I love seeing worms as I'm digging as that means the soil is healthy, but equally I am not at all concerned for them when Mrs. Blackbird comes along and pulls them out of the ground, especially if she has chicks to feed.  
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,192
    I don't use slug pellets. We do have a resident song thrush family. 
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,316
    Bear in mind that animal manure, fish, blood, bone and composted plant matter are natural waste products deposited, consumed and recycled as an integral part of any  natural eco-system. All life is chemical. The environmental impact of how they are commercially collected, processed, packaged and transported to our doors for use in the artificial construct that is a garden is of course a different matter.

    I was looking up a particular plant problem in an old Dr. Hessayon gardening book recently. I got absorbed and shocked by the extensive list of poisons, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides listed as treatments for absolutely everything. Many of these ‘problems’ could be easily solved with a bit of squishing, spraying with water, picking off infected parts and/or improving plant care, air-flow etc. Any professional gardener or garden writer would be castigated these days for promoting such lazy, destructive and environmentally unsound practices. We can always get better, we must get better, but I think things have moved on somewhat from the ‘I Will Destroy You!’ attitudes of the past.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    "Has gardening been left behind or has it been in the forefront of this?"

    It's an interesting question. I think the industry has probably been way at the back and still is. Industry's interest is in cutting costs and maximising profits, so green considerations are never going to be popular as they cost more. Sprays etc reduce plant loss. Plastic is cheap. Mass mechanised production is always going to cut margins. Just as with food production.

    The RHS has a lot to answer for and has been slow champion wildlife, careful water usage etc. It seems a conservative body.

    When I started out, I thought gardeners would be naturally more pro-environmental concerns, because they are closer to growing and nurturing and the cycles of life. But now I think it can have as much or more to do with controlling their environment - shearing, cutting, pruning, spraying, weeding, killing. "To garden" is to make choices with the space - to seek control a little or a lot - to curate, or design or present. It generates a lot of fury - as we see all over the forum - that things push back against control - mares tail, ground elder, slugs, caterpillars, fungi. So "Grow! Grow! Grow!" is not the opposite of "Destroy! Destroy! Destroy!"  For many, there is no contradiction at all.
  • In a modern world has gardening caught up?

    Let me explain by describing my thinking. I read a couple of new discussions about "What's eating my...?" It got me thinking about what they would do once they got tyre answer. Hence the destroy in the title. Possibly with chemicals. 

    Well I did just create a post about finding out what's eating my sage, but if you'll take notice, I would not be using any chemicals to stop them. I'll reiterate that if it's caterpillars to turn into butterflies, then that's fine. If it's not, and is some pest, I'd simply plant something that pest doesn't like the smell of (marigold/thyme/whatever) next to it; so knowing the pest means I could select the right plant to counter it.
  • SuesynSuesyn South Somerset Posts: 605
    We grow brassica on our allotment and cover them with insect mesh so they don't get eaten but many of our fellow allotment holders spray. I cover my strawberries too,  the sparrows were chopping the flower heads off so the net went on last week. The little black ground slugs do enough damage but I just chuck any damaged ones outside the netting for the birds.
    Any decorative plants that get too badly eaten by either caterpillars or slugs I make a judgement as to their survival and don't attempt to grow them if they are likely to be decimated. 
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,586
    There are several plants that I would really like to grow, but experience has taught me that they are slug magnets so I won't plant them again.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
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