The greenhouse at this time of year is at its most productive – and most vulnerable from pest attack. As the tomato plants ripen and aubergines and peppers come into flower, the pests will be queuing up for their share of the goodies and in damp corners and under pots beware the slimy trail of slugs. They know when they’re on to a good thing.
The other most common pests are vine weevils and sciarid and shore flies. But the good news is that all of these can be controlled by naturally occurring nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic, worm-like creatures that occur naturally in garden soil and each has its own specific prey species. Taking action immediately will protect the plants and ensure a better crop.
Europe’s largest producer of beneficial nematodes for pest control, BASF Agricultural Specialities Ltd, has a range of products each designed to attack a specific pest. As they occur naturally in the soil, they are suitable for both organic and traditional gardeners.
Nemaslug, as its name suggests, is for slug control. Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer does exactly what it says on the pack as does Nemasys Fruit and Veg Protection which deals effectively with sciarid and shore flies.
Application is simplicity itself as the appropriate pack is emptied into a bucket or other clean container and mixed with water according to the instructions. This concentrated mixture is then diluted with water in a watering can, hose end sprayer, backpack or pump sprayer and the plants are treated directly. The solutions can also be used in an irrigation or sprinkler system. The nematodes will seek out their prey and kill them.
Any unused product can be used to protect plants growing in the open garden in the same way.
Nemaslug and all Nemasys products can be purchased online from www.greengardener.co.uk .