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Ant Farms

B3B3 Posts: 15,010

From a gardener's point of view are they good, bad or neutral?

In London. Keen but lazy.


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 22,209

    Do you mean ant nests or their habit of farming aphids for honeydew?

    Ant nests and tunnels underneath treasures are generally a bad thing as they leave plant roots danging in air and drying out.   I had one under a rhubarb plant which really struggled whereas its neighbours all thrived until I dug it up and found the nest and dealt with it.    Copious watering will see them move on and a dose of essential oil of cloves helps too as they don't like the smell.  If you're not organic you could use conventional poisons.

    Ants farming aphids spread the blighters on your plants and fight off natural predators like ladybirds and their larvae.  Not good either.

    Then, of course, there's the whole business of gardening with ants.  They get in your boots and in your gloves and they don't half sting and itch when they bite.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Obelixx said it all. In my Fathers garden with very old walls the ants lived in all winter then emigrated to his plants he did not pull any punches. A drop of petrol on the nest and a match, any one for grilled ant?


  • B3B3 Posts: 15,010

    I usually spray the ant farms. They tend to favour artichoke and centaureas

    I usually leave nests that are away from the house.

    I was about to destroy their latest farming efforts and wanted to make sure that it was necessary. From what you say obelixx, it's the beneficial insects that they keep away from the aphids

    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,124

    When I was a kid, a local posh department store once had tins of chocolate coated ants on sale. Don't know if anyone ever bought them, we didn't!

    Still, it may come to that one day.....

  • B3B3 Posts: 15,010

    If I was forced to choose between CCAs and snails, I'd eat the ants. Ants v parsnips, I'd have to think carefullyimage

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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