Wild About Gardens Week is a joint initiative by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and The Wildlife Trusts. According to the website (www.wildaboutgardensweek.org) gardening for wildlife is now more important than ever, with over 60 percent of UK animals and plant species having declined in the past 50 years.
The initiative is encouraging gardeners to make their gardens more wildlife friendly, to try and support species such as hedgehogs and common frogs, which are becoming less common. There are lots of ways to do this, such as planting nectar and pollen-rich flowers, and building insect hotels. Another important aspect, though, is to look at the pest control that you are using. The UK’s only producer of beneficial nematodes in the UK, BASF, is supporting Wild About Gardens Week by encouraging gardeners to switch to this biological form of pest control.
Nematodes are micro-organisms which occur naturally in the soil where they hunt down and attack pests, with each nematode species having its own specific prey, meaning that they will harm their prey, and only their prey, with no negative side-effects on the surrounding wildlife, pets or chldren. BASF grow a range of nematode products, under the Nemasys and Nemaslug brands.
These products include a control for slugs, leatherjackets, ants, vine weevils and chafer grubs, as well as a product containing number of different nematode species which will protect a fruit and vegetable garden from the wide range of pests that can be present there.
To use nematodes, all you do is select the appropriate product, mix with water and either pour from a can with a coarse rose or spray onto the foliage and soil, depending on the variety. This process is repeated throughout the season, from the moment that the first signs of pests occur, and can be easily slotted into your regular watering routine. There is no need to keep children or pets away from treated areas and the whole programme is entirely biological so all the Nemasys products can be used by organic gardeners.
“Using nematodes is a quick, easy and effective way to control pest levels in your garden and allotment, without the worry of harming non-target species, and is a great way to support Wild About Gardens Week” says BASF’s Gavin Wood. “Treatment can continue throughout the growing season and when the pests have all been wiped out the level of nematodes in the soil will immediately drop back to the normal concentrations.”
Wild About Gardens Week runs from 23rd – 29th October.
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