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Talkback: Bug boxes

I feel that any help we can give will go toward the diverse garden insects that we need for our gardens to blossom, I cut several logs about 12" long and 6" circumference I drill several holes of various diametres and place them at various locations throughout my garden.Its like having multiple pets without the hassle and you do not have to feed them.


  • I am looking to intoduce more butterflies to our garden this year, does anyone know a reputable supplier of the larve, in the uk.
  • hi, im ben im 13 and love to grow,
    i grown veg last year, i grown beans carrots and peas.i hope to grow lots more this year. do you have any advice for me on growing plants.
  • Reply to Weakleys. Please do not buy butterfly caterpillars to release in the garden. This is a waste of money, interferes with the local butterfly populations and may be illegal. The only sensible way to get more butterflies in the garden is to grow butterfly-attractive flowers and leave some parts of the garden to run wild for foodplants and shelter. There are plenty of butterflies about, all they need is to be able to colonize gardens which are much less intensively manicured.

    Captive breeding of butterflies from caterpillars can be very interesting and children especially will benefit from seeing the larvae grow and transform into adults. Kits are available from educational suppliers where no foodplant is required — artificial nutrients are supplied for the caterpillars to eat. The butterflies are usually painted ladies, Cynthia cardui, a regular migrant to the UK from southern Europe and North Africa, but which cannot survive our winters, so any release of adults into the wild will have no effect on local genetics, because they all die off each year any way.

    Releases of native butterflies, for conservation purposes, have to abide by a code of conduct, and licences from Natural England. Many years ago there was a colony of Glanville fritillary Melitaea cinxia, in Orpington, Kent, where an amateur breeder had some escapes, or deliberately let them go. This very rare butterfly only naturally occurs in the UK on the SW coast of the Isle of Wight and Purbeck, so it was very confusing for butterfly recording and monitoring.

    Releases of non-native animal species into the wild are technically illegal, since they may become invasive pests or spread disease.
  • Hi Richard,about two years ago I spent a sunny January day on my Manchester allotment. It was an unusually warm day but I shared it with a painted lady which was sunning itself on the privet hedge next to me. It clearly hadn't returned to Africa and had survived the winter!
  • I have a wooden gate at the front of my house and was suprised to see that it seemed to be decaying rather quickley until one day I caught the culpits for the damage, it was wasps chewing lumps of wood to build their nests with.I also often see them flying into the roof of my house in the summer, don't think there has been a year that they didn't take up residents.
  • Hi Ben
    Keep it simple when first starting, peas,dwarf french beans, string beans, onions, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and many herbs can be grown in pots if your growing area is not to big.
    Great to see young people taking up the garden tools.
    Best of luck Ben
  • Thanks for the reply,

    I will grow the veg what you said, ive have young carrot seedling in my bedroom at the moment and have other seeds to sow: sprouts,runner beans, leeks, sweetcorn, lettuce, carrots f1 hybrid, herb lemon balm, sunflower, wild flower teasel, beetroot, poppy, cabbage, cornflower blue diadem, pumpkin and carrots amsterdam forcing.

    The herbs im growing at the moment are curry plant, lavender, pepper mint, mint, basil, rosemarry and thyme.

    Do you have any advice on growing potatoes and the soil to grow them in. Im chitting first early potatoes (duke of york)next to the window at the moment.
  • Hi I have bought cucumber seeds that say they are outdoor. Very stupid of me as I normally grow them in the greenhouse. So my question is this? will outdoor cucumbers do well in the greenhouse or should I buy another seed that says indoor?
  • I think there is a bumblebee nest in my compost. Do I have to leave it alone or can I move it?
  • hi vix

    There is no organic way to get rid of wasps. However, they do not return to the same nest every year so the problem will be over when autumn comes. be sure not to let the compost become too dry or too damp. by damping the compost it might make the bees go away.
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