Welcome to the Grazers Blog!

Monday 10 March 2014

'Spring itch'

Incredible how quickly the soil dries out with a little sun and a little wind! I am talking now about here at home in Cumbria  - I am aware some places have had a lot worse and are still under water..

I can feel the 'itch' that starts always at this time of year triggered by lengthening days and increased temperatures. I am talking of course about the 'gardening itch' and it's not just me - everywhere I go I hear the same thing "I am itching to get back in the garden!" and lets face it its been a long time since the last spring! It didn't happen last year did it? Remember the snow and frozen ground into May and beyond!

Slugs are in the news, not only the invading Spanish variety which continued to invade last year but also after the mild wet winter they are likely to continue to spread and cause havoc alongside the equally unwelcome 'common' native species.
Spanish slug
We have brought in some captive Spanish slugs (safely sealed in a plant propagator). We got them from an entomologist in Norfolk for a garden media show  we did in London last month.. So we set up a little trial - treated cabbage and untreated cabbage.  It took a little while for them to start eating.... Perhaps they were  'jet lagged' - they had come in the post the day before, also, early February is still sleep time for slugs, but the warmth of our office and lighting finally woke them up and we ended up with a reasonable trial result to display. i.e. treated plant was left uneaten
So the slugs are now back with us, resting after their long trip from Norwich to Cumbria to London then back to Cumbria, not to mention all the media attention they received at the show!
We will continue to use them for further trials but meanwhile they are living a relaxing life in Cumbria (safely enclosed! )

For further information on the Spanish slugs and how you can help,  please click on the following link