Posts Tagged ‘pests’

Help fellow gardeners to keep those pests away, the Big Bug Hunt is on!

January 30th, 2017 | News, The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments


Big Bug Hunt - Butterfly

Butterflies help pollinate some crops when they visit open flowers to sip nectar.

At Mr Fothergill’s we are also keen gardeners.  There is nothing more devastating in the vegetable plot than an attack of ‘bad bugs’ and we are always keen to figure out ways to encourage ‘good bugs’ by creating good environments for pollinators in the garden.

We think it would be great to know when pests are going to attack and finally there may be a new solution.

A major international science project plans to help you do exactly that by collecting information about garden bug behaviour with the aim of notifying gardeners when pests are heading their way.

Organisers of The Big Bug Hunt are inviting gardeners from across the country to report sighting of bugs as they appear. The project has already found patterns of when and how key pests spread – but more reports will speed up development of the final pest-alert system. The aim is to provide gardeners with early-warning emails when pests are heading their way – great news for organic gardeners relying on preventative measures to outwit pests!

This research isn’t easy and The Big Bug Hunt team has major plans for the coming year as they examine how different weather patterns affect the way pests spread.

Big Bug Hunt - Flea Beetle

Flea beetles chew tiny round holes in the top sides of leaves, with damage to leafy greens being most severe in spring.

Project Coordinator Jeremy Dore explains: “Last year we received more than 11,000 reports and with The Big Bug Hunt now firmly established we expect to receive even more. The more reports we get, the stronger the data and the sooner we can turn the results into an invaluable service for gardeners.

“After just one year we’ve already significantly improved methods of predicting major pests, such as aphids. By joining in with The Big Bug Hunt, gardeners have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution towards tackling pests. A pest-alert system like the one we’re developing is within our grasp and stands to make organic control methods dramatically more effective.”

Any pest, from slugs to aphids, can be reported. The Big Bug Hunt is also tracking beneficial bugs such as bees, currently suffering serious population declines, to learn more about their range and spread.

If you’re interested in getting involved with The Big Bug Hunt, it’s easy. You can send any reports to Big Bug Hunt website, which you can find here. The website includes detailed pest identification guides – with effective treatment and prevention idea. If we all work together to beat the pests, our gardens will bloom more than ever!


How to Beat Bugs in Your Garden [video]

July 21st, 2016 | The flower garden, The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

bugs gardenYou can never escape the threat of bugs in the garden, but you can manage and plan for a bug attack. If you want to beat bugs in your garden it takes a good strategy and this video will give you tips to make sure bugs are kept at bay.

  • Healthy plants are strong plants and are less likely to be affected by bugs even though they may collect a little collateral damage on the way. Therefore it’s vital to ensure your crops are as healthy as possible. Keep crops healthy by following best gardening practice; watering soil in dry weather, planting with sufficient space to avoid overcrowding, keeping plants regularly weeded and using organic fertilizers to nourish them at key points in their lifecycle.
  • Many bugs like to hunt out your crops, but these bugs also have predators.  So the best tactic is to encourage natural allies who will hunt down the insects, slugs and other unwelcome garden visitors.  Ladybirds, garden birds, frogs and toads are perfect for this as they feed on pests destroying their populations before they become an issue.
  • Attract these predators into the garden by planting the flowers and plants that they will also feed on. So flowers that attract pollinators, or planting berry bushes to keep birds happy for instance.
  • Other methods of attracting insects can include placing bug hotels throughout your garden, allowing patches of grass to grow a little longer to provide shelter, and leaving deadwood in the corner of a garden to create breeding areas for beetles.
  • Frogs and toads love slugs and therefore they are great for keeping bugs at bay.  Adding a pond in your garden, even if it’s small, can create a habitat to attract frogs and toads though they will happily thrive if they have damp cool spaces to shelter too.
  • Place trees and shrubs around the perimeter of the garden to provide nesting sites and food for birds. Once established, they can assist in getting rid of pests such as snails and slugs and will reward you by raising their young in your garden each year.

These are just a few suggestions for keeping bugs at bay in your garden, watch the video for tips on many more methods.  If you have any techniques you use to keep pests away, do let us know in the comments section below.

How to Beat Bugs in Your Garden