An Insect Rich Summer

The late start to the 2013 gardening season has not deterred insects. Bees and hoverflies are spoilt for choice of nectar rich flowers at the moment.


Summer
My main beef is with the lily beetle. The red insect needs to be caught and squeezed to death as it’s hard shell protects it from most other treatments. The eggs it lays and the grubs that develop are what can devour a nice lily in next to no time.
Moluscus and in particular snails this year are chomping away on the very youngest plants in my garden.

Autumn
Most of the aerial insects become sleepy by autumn and dwell for longer on the few flowers that have survived through to October. Egg laying is about finished.

Beneath stones, leaves and fallen logs, caterpillars and spiders are busy building cocoons in which they lay masses of eggs. Slugs burrow deeper into the soil to stay warm through winter. Turning or hoeing the soil will bring worms and eggs to the surface for birds to take on extra feed before the onset of hard frost and frozen ground.

Insects and worms in the compost heap continue to chew, digest and excrete to make new compost from the rotting material until it gets too hot with bacterial activity. If you have used insecticides or weedkillers on any of your garden I suggest you consider composting the remains for longer and separately.

Tip. When cleaning out potted plants check for the eggs and grubs of vine weevil. This root eating insect causes so much damage I am willing to use chemical treatment like Amazon’s Pbi Provado Vine Weevil treatment, if the squashing of the grubs is not good enough.
Encourage spiders webs in the greenhouse or potting shed as they eat several times their weight in other critters.

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