Vine Weevils lurking in container compost!
It was a blowy, but sunny day on Saturday but the Six Nations rugby was on the television so not much got done in the garden until Sunday! Strawberries needed planting and so did some lilies so they took priority along with a bit of a tidy up.
While the lily bulbs were still viable and had already started sprouting, the compost they had been in definitely needed replacing. While I was tipping it out of the container I noticed some tell tale 'c' shaped cream-coloured grubs- the dreaded vine weevil!
The grubs went on the bird table as a treat for the blackbirds and I discarded the compost- we definitely don't want this particular pest taking hold! The problem with vine weevils is their ability to have 3 life cycles going on in one pot! There are often eggs, grubs and adults all sharing the same compost...
Nematodes such as Nemasys work well to combat Vine Weevil infestations in open ground or for a number of containers. Just follow the instructions and water in when the soil warms up. A drenching of Provado is effective too, especially for small pots and containers where you might only need a small amount of drench.
Whether in containers or in open ground, if plants suddenly seem to fail for no reason unearth their roots and poke around in the compost. If your sickly plant has very few roots and you spot those familiar grubs, then that ‘mystery cause' of demise suddenly becomes crystal clear!
The moral of this of course is simple; don't be tempted to reuse compost until you've thoroughly investigated what has been left in it - or you might be in for a shock!