Saturday, 4 October 2014

Bits and Pieces from the In Between Garden

The nights are fair drawing in as they say and there soon won't be any evening gardening after work. This week when I've grabbed some time in the garden in the early evenings, I have been watering and sorting out more plants that came with me. September has been warm and dry, especially so for Scotland, so this has meant moving the sprinkler around every evening as all my plants are in pots or large troughs, some showing signs of being too dry. Yesterday (Friday) and overnight at last saw a lot of rain, and because it was heavy it soaks the ground and is much more beneficial than light showers. 

As I mentioned in a previous blog the Pelargonium collection really has improved since being re potted, here are another couple of shots of them, new shiny leaves, new growth and some late flowers and looking a hundred times healthier. 

Pelargoniums in the big greenhouse for winter

Pelargoniums having a last flower or two

Pelargonium splendide, a lovely species Pelargomium

Whilst hand watering some of the pots on the patio, I noticed Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam' was looking a bit unwell, at first glance it looked like it may be wilting due to dryness, but knowing Heuchera and their pests I was fairly certain this was a case of vine weevils! Sure enough as soon as I touched the plant it came clean away from the soil, the first classic indication of a vine weevil problem.

Heuchera with roots eaten away by vine weevil larvae

Heuchera, Sedum and Primula are amongst vine weevil's favourite plants, but they do attack other plants. The adult (a black beetle like creature) lays the eggs in the soil and then the larvae hatch out and burrow down into the soil and into the plant roots, chomping away until there is nothing left. They are distinctive with their cream bodies and brown head. For something so small they do a lot of damage.

The vine weevil larvae in the Heuchera pot

I've never found so many vine weevils in one pot,
 there were 93!

The chickens had a nice evening snack, which got rid of the larvae and I now have four plants instead of one. The RHS has a useful page about vine weevils here: RHS Vine Weevils

From one plant to four

Because the larvae had eaten away all the roots, the crown of the plant fell appart. I stripped the pieces down, removed any remaining vine weevils and re potted them. They are now recovering in the greenhouse and will hopefully root and give me some new plants to pass on.

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