Wet 2012 ‘created many problems for gardeners’

Last year proved to be the second wettest in the last 100 years – and these conditions created many issues for gardeners.

Indeed, principal scientist for plant health at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Andrew Halstead said that the wet weather was easily the dominant feature of the year.

He added that this had a very big impact on gardens – particularly when it came to the kind of pest problems the conditions only facilitated.

The expert went on to specify that many different kinds of pests absolutely thrive in damp conditions – and therefore they had a great time in 2012.

As a result of this trend, Mr Halstead claimed that demand for slug controls – especially nematodes used as a biological form of control – was very high, sometimes even exceeding supply.

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Mr Halstead said that it could be very interesting to see how the pest populations respond to the ongoing wet conditions expected in 2013.

He noted that many insects overwinter underground and can drown when soil becomes waterlogged – adding that this trend can have a negative impact on beneficial creatures like bees.

"Slugs and snails are often so abundant in gardens that some damage has to be tolerated," the expert commented, adding: "Gardeners need to accept that they cannot be totally eradicated."

"A biological control specific to slugs is available in the form of a microscopic nematode or eelworm (Nemaslug)."

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