I know it doesn’t look very pretty but if you take a large plastic drinks bottle and make some slits – not holes – at the top, fill it with water, screw the top on tight and push it into the soil upside down near your plants it will be a reservoir and release the water slowly as the plant needs it. If it is too slow, increase the number and length of the slits; you can also connect these large bottles to a seep hose and run it along a row of plants, or vegetables. Use rainwater wherever you can; it is much better for the plants – tap water contains chemicals to keep it ‘pure’, rainwater contains Nitrogen, a vital element for plant growth!
Should we ban slug pellets? Yes, this is one of the topics under discussion at the ‘other’ Parliament in Brussels! It is true that we are using far too many slug pellets; it is being detected in our drinking water and has to be removed chemically before entering the mains water system. Early opinion was that it was the farmers who were the culprits but now that we have very sophisticated water detection systems we know that gardeners are also responsible for putting significant amounts of slug killer chemicals such as metaldehyde in our water systems. If the levels of these chemicals in our drinking water are not brought down – by reducing use - then it is inevitable that approval for these chemicals will be withdrawn. There are alternatives to using slug killing chemicals, and they are unnecessary in dry weather; I think slugs get the blame for damage by other means! Be sure to check for the tell-tale slime trail and please use them sparingly or not at all!
Take a tip from our hard working volunteers and remove old flower heads, nip off the tips of those fast growing basket plants for good growth and continuous flowering throughout the summer.