The Dreaded Vine Weevil
We couldn’t talk about Autumnal pests without mentioning our old nemesis, the vine weevil. The antithesis of our situation with our friend the lacewing, the larvae of the vine weevil are actually what cause the most damage. Sure, no one likes leaves with big ugly irregular notches eaten out of them by these clay-coloured beetles, but the vine weevil offspring, both the larvae and the pupae, can devastate the roots of a lot of plants: indoors, outdoors and in glasshouses. The eggs are laid in the soil and hatch into brown-headed larvae, 7mm long, 10-15 days later, emerging in warm Autumn conditions.
On the Nursery, there are several species of live microscopic nematodes we use that absolutely love hunting down vine weevil larvae. We use this treatment at least twice a year; once in Spring and once in Autumn and the species of nematodes we use depends on the temperature of the soil at the time of application. As a result of this, we are able to avoid any nasty weevil infestations at Nicholsons. We also make sure all goods coming in are rigorously checked and treated, to make sure we don’t bring any of these pests into our nursery as they are horribly common creatures. We apply the nematodes to our plants systemically, using two giant hoses and a clever contraption called a Dosatron. However, gardeners at home can mix the nematodes with water in a watering can, which can be applied directly to the plants you want to protect. Easy peasy!