A wood­land gar­den won­der... but loved by snails

Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine - - Advertising Feature -

ONE of the good things to come out of a cold, cold win­ter is the no­tice­able tice­able ab­sence of slugs and snails. A good brush with heavy frost t puts them in their place.

Un­for­tu­nately, it’s only tem­po­rary. As the tem­per­a­ture starts to rise and fresh green shoots begin to ap­pear above soil level, the battle be­gins again. And one of th­ese pests’ favourite foods – and, hence, a fam­ily of plants which hich seem to suf­fer the most fromm the at­ten­tion of mol­luscs – is the hosta, whose won­der­ful leafy growth be­gins to emerge at a time when spring bulbs are dy­ing back. Hostas are the won­ders of the wood­lan wood­land gar­den, as well as be­ing mar­vels in bor­ders and bed beds and ideal oc­cu­pants for con­tain­ers where th their leaves can at least b be of­fered some sort of p pro­tec­tion.

Leaves could be yel­low, gre green, grey-blue or vari var­ie­gated, heart-shaped, or ov ovate. They grow quickly, but not fast enough to thwart a hun­gry snai snail. And gar­den­ers may not be aware of the dam­age be­ing done un­til it is too late.

Hostas do well un­der deep-root­ing trees and are per­fect near wa­ter; they ap­pre­ci­ate shade. As peren­ni­als, they die back com­pletely in win­ter, the new spearlike shoots of the tightly- rolled leaves ap­pear­ing in spring, when they are at their most vul­ner­a­ble from attack.

Most hostas are fully hardy. They need a rea­son­ably fer­tile, moist but well-drained soil, and yet it’s im­por­tant to stop them dry­ing out. In the gar­den, spread­ing com­post over the sur­face in spring should do the trick.

In a con­tainer, regular wa­ter­ing is es­sen­tial. And cov­er­ing the com­post sharp gravel will not only keep in mois­ture – it may also de­ter slugs.

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