Thursday, May 16

How long will they survive?

We have a small collection of hostas which grow in pots around the edge of our pond.
We split and repotted half of them last year so this year we did the same to the other half. This was really essential as not only had the plants become very congested but some unwelcome plants had seeded themselves in amongst the new shoots.

As usual splitting plants has resulted in us having some extra plants to find a home for. These have been planted one of our flower beds. A risky thing to do as no doubt the slugs and snails will home in on them and have a party. We didn't want to pot up more plants and the alternative to planting in the garden would have been to compost them - there are only so many plants that you can palm off on give to friends - at least the plants now have a bit of a chance to grow.
All the hostas are now racing ahead and for a while at least we may be able to enjoy the beauty of nibble free leaves.
Although one snail was quick off the mark and targetted one of the potted plants.
This time I knew who dunnit as the culprit was found sleeping amongst the leaves. He/she (snails are both sexes in one animal so probably I should say heshe or shehe) had a flying lesson as a punishment. I hope I managed to wang it further than its sat-nav operates!

I do have some mollusc defences in place which include smearing Vaseline in a band around the pot, wrapping copper ribbon around the pot and using some sort of slug resistant granules. I ran out of granules for two of the pots - one of which was the victim of the slug attack and so as another weapon in my arsenal I've placed a ring of poodle wool around the base of the plants.
My sister used this line of defence effectively around her pansies last year and once the leaves grow the wool will be hidden. The only problem is the birds may decide to remove it as nesting material. Plenty more where that came from as Tivvy is being clipped this week!



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

14 comments:

  1. No wonder snails eat the leaves, because they're very tasty! They taste like cabbage or lettuce. In Japan they eat these leaves in meals, I had been hesitating for a long time to try them, but finally I did and I don't regret it :)

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    1. I hope that doesn't catch on here as we have enough trouble keeping slugs off Dewberry! Is it a particular type of leaf as I'd imagine some would be quite tough.

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  2. I'm sure it is in that new James Wong book about eating Hostas. I think I would like to grow some of the smaller varieties in pots. The only thing that has put me off so far is that by having a veg plot it would be an open invitation to the slugs & snails.

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    1. I think pots is the way to go, Jo

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  3. I've got some in pots too and they've always been trouble free. Good idea using the wool. I wonder if using the tumble dryer lint would work!

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    1. I'm not sure whether it is the actual wool or lanolin in it that the slugs don't like, Debbie. The only trouble with the drier lint is that it may still contain some remnants of detergent. I read somewhere that this is why they don't recommend that plants are watered using the water drawn out by tumble dryers,

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  4. Hostas are definitely beautiful. You wouldn't have any trouble giving them away around here. Mine are just beginning to come up now.

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    1. They definitely are TPals and there are so many varieties. We used to have a tiny one lost it!

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  5. I've got a few hostas which I grow in pots, they do get a little attention from the slugs, but not as much as they would if they were in the ground. It'll be interesting to see if Tivvy's coat does the trick.

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    1. The only problem is that when Tiv's goes into the garden she catches a whiff of her wol and is confused by it. She hates it when the wool is popped into a carrier bag after clipping. I guess she can't quite understand why her smell is coming from somewhere that isn't attached to her!

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  6. Sue, in view of what you said earlier about the edibility of Hostas, maybe you should just eat the spares rather than giving them away?!

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    1. I think not Mark. I prefer to keep them as ornamental :)

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  7. Well I hope your defences work. Glad for the dog fur tip...My Mums dog will be having a hair cut soon...maybe I can use it!!

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    1. We could compare which breed of dog gives the best slug defences. I've always wondered how poodles came to have wool rather than hair.

      I know around here rhubarb cultivation started because of the woollen industry producing shoddy. Apparently wool spread on the ground slowly releases nutrients into the soil and microbes break down the wool releasing nitrogen which feeds the rhubarb.

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