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vine weevel eggs and grubs in soil

I've just been removing summer plants ready to put in spring bulbs that have been sitting in empty pots. I noticed my heucheras that were intermingled just came away [I didn't want to remove these as they are perennials]. Some had no roots. On digging around my planters there were eggs and grubs all over. I dosed with bug clear vine weevil killer, but it's just gone December and I think it's recommended up to September for it to work. Can I add nematodes? I read these can work in winter. Or will the bug clear kill those off? My bulbs need planting asap as they're starting to sprout. I don't really want to empty my 2 x 8 ft planters and add new compost. Any advice is welcome.

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  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,399
    edited December 2021
    Hi Bernadette, I think nematodes need to be applied when the temperature is above 5 degrees.
    Edited to add, a bit more research makes me think you will need to wait until the soil warms up in Spring. I would remove as many of the grubs as you can find and plant the bulbs.
    I think your bulbs will be fine :) 
  • Heuchera grow easily from cuttings. It may not be the best time of year but worth a go with the rootless ones. You might end up with more plants :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    Nematodes don't work unless the soil and temps are high enough.
    You can't see vine weevil eggs easily so what you think are eggs - aren't vine weevil.

    With the grubs themselves, the best solution is to chuck them out for the birds. 

    If you're concerned, you can pot up the bulbs too, and leave until the planters are clear of weevil to plant them in there. Most bulbs aren't really affected by vine weevil though, so you could probably just stick them in anyway.

    Heucheras are very attractive to them - especially in containers. Pot up them up for now - they'll regrow. A layer of grit helps deter the adults from laying eggs too. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Ile take out the heucheras and rinse under the tap and replant elsewhere in the garden. Its 2C at the mo so not looking forward to it] If I dry the bulbs and store them will they be okay for planting in summer for next spring?  Or do the only last one year in storage?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    No - plant the bulbs regardless. They won't survive if you store them. They'll dry out or rot. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • As soon as the weather has warms up I'm going to blast everything with nematodes. Even if I cant see any eggs/grubs. I've learned my lesson.
  • Hi Fairygirl, I thought the bulbs they sell in shops are usually dry? On your advice, I will try and replant in pots just to keep them alive but crowded. Thanks.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    Yes- but they haven't been stored for another year. They get lifted from the areas they've been in, stored properly, then you buy them and plant them. Assuming they flower well, and are allowed to die back properly, that feeds the bulb for the following year. Once planted, very few bulbs need lifting for winter.  :)

    If you just keep storing them, they'll diminish. I was under the impression your bulbs hadn't been planted at all during this year, so they haven't been growing and maturing as they should, but perhaps I've misunderstood. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 5,302
    If you have used bug clear it would kill the nematodes so, even if the temperature was right you would be wasting your time and money.  The effect of the bug clear should have dispersed by next spring but it's either or,  not both. 
    AB Still learning

  • Thank you all for your advice. My bulbs were lifted this year and some dried near the radiator. some outside in empty pots. Both lots were starting to sprout and needed soil. I had a dig around for grubs, which I should have picked out before, but it was getting dark and I used the last light to dose with vine weevil killer. Quick look today and none seen [which doesn't mean there aren't any, but encouraging] So have put in a bit of Demetrius soil in planters for slug egg deterrent and put in bulbs.
    I will wait for spring to put in nematodes when the temp warms up and the bugclear has dissipated. Great advice thanks.
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