Central Otago Mirror - - GARDENING -

The spring gar­den is a vulnerable one and spring is a tem­pes­tu­ous sea­son, mean­ing ev­ery­thing is un­der threat of sud­den de­struc­tion: blus­tery winds can re­duce a thriv­ing flower gar­den to a mess of potage, and hail can turn what’s left to con­fetti. Keep­ing those el­e­ments off your young seedlings or pansy blooms is chal­leng­ing un­less you are grow­ing un­der­cover in a tun­nel­house, but there are ways to re­duce the chances of shred­ding-by­weather. Cloches, glass or plas­tic pro­tect against ev­ery­thing bar in­sects and mol­luscs.

Weather events of the rough sort are coun­tered by a well-an­choured cloche and even cold air is kept at bay, as un­der the clear skin of a cloche, the air can be sev­eral de­grees warmer. At this time of year, let­tuces ben­e­fit greatly from pro­tec­tion from un­ex­pected cold, and cloches suit them per­fectly, but slugs don’t care about them. Mol­luscs such as they and snails march, on their sin­gle foot, right on in and set­tle down to dine. The most ef­fec­tive way to keep their num­bers down to next to zero is to visit the plants they yearn

to dine on at night, with the aid of a head torch, and pick them off your plants, then con­sign them to a fate I’m re­luc­tant to de­scribe here, but is fi­nal and fa­tal.

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