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

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. 

That got me thinking about mindset of gardeners. This modern age we're thinking more and more about the environment and living with it not destroying it. Has gardening been left behind or has it been in the forefront of this?

I suppose my question about what do you do with the information about what is eating your particular plant is part of that. Do you use chemicals like the old ways of treating the planet or more natural,  even living with it? Afterall they're just living things getting by.

I'm just curious about your views.


  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,600
    I never use chemicals in the garden or allotment I let nature take care of it or in extreme cases ( lily beetles) I remove manually and stamp. 
    I have found that it doesn’t take too long for natural predators to move in and create a balance. 
    That said if something was being ruined by pests I would consider not growing it. Last year when my cabbages were covered with caterpillars I just left them to it but I won’t grow cabbages again. 
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble SuffolkPosts: 4,305
    Have the right predators and the pests get eaten! Feed birds and hedgehogs and they eat all the things you don't want too!
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,572
    Sure there is a balance that will be reached but every single plant will have holes in it. look at nature you will not find many perfect plants most have insect/fungal damage. the plants don't care they still get to reproduce, but I care when it comes to eating them myself. or in the case of slugs or birds on berries, eating any of it myself.
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    This is one of those situations where we pretend that gardening is 'natural' and nature will take care of everything. In nature, food sources are often scarce and spread about over a wide area. Competition and predation limit reproduction and a balance is struck between the eaters and the eaten. In your garden you create a feast and attract all sorts of hungry creatures who eat and breed under our protection. We also have 'foreign' beasties with no natural enemies. This doesn't mean you have to rush out and buy chemicals but some sort of protection is often required.
     For example, when I was collecting up 400 Spanish slugs a night, a couple of years ago, I knew that they are not eaten by British predators. Also, we sometimes get things wrong: we no longer have hedgehogs because we have protected badgers so well that the hogs are all dead. Nature will look after itself, but each time we interfere we upset that balance and just hoping the birds will sort it out is unrealistic.
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble SuffolkPosts: 4,305
    I'd far rather have the odd nibble in a leaf than dead birds and hogs due to slug pellets and sprays.  Think its personal choice but I know I will never use anything that kills and poisons.
  • EmptyheadtimeEmptyheadtime Ireland Posts: 178
    On reflection My gardening is probably not that environmentally friendly.
    i am not peat free yet, any plant I buy is in a plastic pot, is bamboo farmed in an environmentally sound way? How green is my tomato feed or lawn feed? I use a petrol mower etc.
    that said I do not use chemicals to treat pests. I just destroy the slugs with my size 9s
  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 BirminghamPosts: 766
    I have never used chemicals in my gardens and have been gardening for 3+ decades. I have done the odd snail and slug patrols in the past but don’t do them at all now. I loose the odd young plant to slugs/snails but very little in the overall scheme of things. We do have lots of frogs so they do most of the work for me.

    It is hard to resist squishing aphids but have done so over the last few years and now find that they are quickly hoovered up by ladybirds and small birds, whose numbers have definitely increased since we moved in.

    I do squash lily beetles but am more zealous about composting any of their eggs I find and it will be interesting to see if there numbers in the garden start to go down. We don’t get as many here as we did when we lived in Bedfordshire, we used to have loads of the b**ggers there.

    When compost, I’ve always tried to but peat free over the decades and have only bought peat free for a long time now. We don’t use chemical formula feeds and relay on fbb and homemade alkanet/nettle concoctions. We occasionally use a lawn feed, Mo Bactor (love the name sounds like a Bond villain 🤣) which is organic.

    It’s a matter of personal choice but we should remember that we have a responsibility to make that choice with an understanding that the impact (of any chemical or using a finite resource such as peat) is wider than our own garden. 
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • BigladBiglad East LancashirePosts: 2,763
    For the fruit and veg that I attempt to grow, I will try and protect the plants because there's little point otherwise. At the moment, that means netting, cages and picking off anything that is dining. I have used slug pellets on occasion but prefer the midnight/dawn patrol and chuck them in the garden waste bin approach. I'll be working away from home (during the week) in July/August, which may cause me to crack open the pellets again :o . That is TBC. Everything else can fend for itself against the elements/wildlife.

    I'm actually more concerned with the 'domesticated' pests that invade my space on a daily basis :(

    In terms of living with the environment, pretty much all gardening is tampering with nature in some way, shape or form, isn't it? Generally speaking, though, having a garden with anything growing in it must be better than the ever-growing expanse of concrete and tarmac that mankind has created.

    I'm trying to limit my plastic usage (pots-wise) by growing from seed, taking cuttings and buying bare-root where possible. It means that I struggle to get instant impact but it is all the more satisfying when I get a good result :)
  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,601
    I am surprised that many gardeners don't seem to understand that everything we add to soil - animal waste, like muck, blood fish and bone , together with plant-based sprays and feeds are ALL chemicals. The important issue is how they are derived and what impact they have on the environment. 
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,324
    Sustainability - Brandt definition - meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    If what you do in your garden makes your garden better for you but ultimately doesn't sterilise the soil or create pollution or deplete finite resources, then it is sustainable. You can add muck and manure and dig holes and plant non native species or create a lawn and it is ultimately all sustainable because what you do won't outlive you
    “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” 
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