i've had a great few days getting out into gardens that have been frozen or covered in snow for the last month, Each garden i've been to, i've gone round looking for snow damage, - broken branches, bent stems, but practically everything has pulled through the worst of the British winter.
However I have been amazed at how many bugs there are around eating plants at this time of year. I thought they should have all been asleep under ground
This Cabbage, - was bent almost flat by the snow, but when it melted, all it's leaves were still there, - now one week later, look at it!
I found the culprit, - a tiny green caterpillar, so small the photo I took didn't even show it, I'm sure that there had been more, as there were 6 cabbages and 2 rows of spinach that had succumbed, but I couldn't find any more- maybe the others had had so much to eat they'd gone on to find something else.
In the last couple of weeks i've also found several pots infested with Vine weevil larvae, - my potato bags, and then today
ok it's not a great photo as I was cold and cross. There were at least 10 mini vine weevil larvae in a container planted up in the Autumn with clean compost from a bag from a reputable source, and planted with Ivy leaved Geraniums - again from a reputable garden centre.
I'm guessing this means that the grubs were laid in the compost in late summer by flying insect vine weevil beetles, and they have been devouring the roots of the geraniums all autumn.
This means i'll have to be very careful in this garden during 2010, as Heucheras, Sedums and Agapanthus are susceptible, and this garden has all three.
As well as these, i've been finding the usual amount of slugs and snails, - these are easy to take out tho' as you just have to find their hiding place. - i've found Phormiums, Iris's and Alchemillas are some of their favourite hidey holes, so if you cut back and dead foliage and clear away leaves and debris, they have no-where to escape to, and you can reduce there numbers at the start of the season.