Daffodil Muncher

Daffodils ThumbnailMy photos give the impression that everything in the garden is rosy. And mostly it is. But there are times when things don’t go to plan, when part of the garden looks shabby and unkempt or pests move in and cause havoc in their own small way. These tricky situations are character building I tell myself.

Time and patience are usually all it takes. A helping hand from some of our wild creatures usually puts things right. There’s a lot to be said for encouraging wildlife into the garden. Somehow the world seems a better place when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the bees are buzzing around collecting pollen. Other creatures are more elusive yet I know they are around by the damage they cause to some of my favourite plants.

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Something has been eating my daffodils. I have grown them for years and yet this is the first time I have seen the flower heads nibbled or in some cases decimated. I suspect slugs and snails are the culprits.

2012 was The Year of the Slug with the wettest weather for 100 years. The moist earth and lush growth provided perfect conditions for our slimy friends. In my garden there were plenty of slugs and snails about in 2013 too. Coupled with the mild winter we’ve just had that probably means that we are likely to have another bumper slug population this year.

We have our own organic slug control systems in place:

  • Wild ducks send in raiding parties every day.
  • Thrushes demolish clusters of snails.
  • Hedgehogs snuffle through the undergrowth.
  • I collect any slugs that make their way into my greenhouse in search of juicy new seedlings then march them down the lane to deposit them in the hedge.

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A casual glance at the daffodils in the Spring Garden gives the impression that everything is fine. Closer inspection reveals chewed petals on several clumps of daffodils. I’m not tempted to used slug pellets because even the “safe” ones contain chemicals that will harm other creatures. We’ll have ducklings and hungry mother ducks soon so they will probably reduce the slug population for us.
See Organic Slug Control System for more info on that.

In the meantime I’ll scatter some gritty wood ash around the daffs.
Then I will just have to be patient and carry on looking at the garden through my rose tinted glasses.

What you do with your slugs and snails?  Gillian O_o