Vine weevils on the march

My battle with the vine weevils has moved to a new level.  Having destroyed my strawberry and blueberry plants, had a go at an insect eating plant, and a bay tree, they have now launched an attack on  my new witch hazel (hamamelis).  I only bought it in the spring to replace a previous one which had met a similar fate.  Photo here of the original one in its glory days:

WP_20160131_008I’m particularly fond of witch hazel because it flowers in the winter, has the most unlikely flowers and an intoxicating scent. My Dad bought me the original one for my birthday a few years ago so it has special memories too.  Anyway last year it curled up and died so I bought a new one, at some cost and after some searching. When I came home from my holidays last week, it looked a bit droopy so I gave it a good water.  This weekend it hadn’t recovered so I guessed the monstrous weevils had been at it.  I upturned the pot to find munched roots and dozens of disgusting weevil grubs – I’ll spare you a photo.   I’ve given it a good root wash, planted it out in the garden and made an emergency online order for nematodes to see off the nasties.  I’m hoping it will recover.

In the mean time moving the strawberries from pots into the ground seems to have solved the vine weevil problem for them – this year at least we’ve had an abundant crop and the plants look cheerful enough.  It looks like I may have to give up on pots completely, except for herbs and annuals which manage to grow before the nasties get to them.

On a happier note, we had our first tomatoes today

WP_20170910_13_55_58_Pro[1]We’v eaten the last of the plums in scrumptious flapjacks (link to recipe here):

WP_20170908_22_29_54_Pro[1]and, although the courgettes and marrows continue to increase in size and quantity whenever my back is turned,

I’ve successfully passed several on to neighbours and family, as well as enjoying eating them in a range of ever-unlikely recipes. Having made emergency plum jam last weekend, marrow chutney is next on the list of things to do.

5 thoughts on “Vine weevils on the march

  1. I hope your witch hazel does recover. What is it about pots and vine weevils!!

    Anyway, I wish I was getting your courgettes and such like. It does look like there are two courgettes on the vine but they are not growing at any great speed.

    1. Thanks. I can count my blessings with the courgettes. I’ve never had vine weevils before I moved to this house. Here they are everywhere nibbling little holes in the leaves but plants in the ground seem to survive the horrors of their grubs eating the roots.

  2. Vine weevils are interesting. Did you know they reproduce parthenogenically? I.e. single females can lay genetically identical eggs which grow into other females? I’ve got vineweevils too, but they don’t seem to cause much damage, usually just leaf damage, rather than the more destructive root damage. Ground beetles will eat the adults (I’ve seen them) maybe mine have managed to reduce the numbers?

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