Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Advent Countdown -December 9th


All is not well at Sock Towers and even a little pink Beardshawette fails to lift the Sock's spirits.  As we look behind the Beardshaw's behind a sad story unfolds...

Some of you may remember the Sock's gabion which, hanging outside her front door and planted with aeoniums and echeverias, draws a lot of amused and admiring comments from passers-by.



The Sock's new greenhouse is now providing winter accommodation for  those aeoniums and succulents that were potted or could be lifted from the garden.  The gabion clearly needed some attention as fungi was now jostling for position with the echeverias, most of which needed their rotting lower leaves removed to allow air to circulate.



Oh woe and thrice woe! As the Sock started to strip the gabion many of the rosettes came away in her hand and it was VINE WEEVILS!!! The utter bastards had gnawed their way into almost every stem and there were hundreds of them in there!!! You can see them on the photograph below - clic on the pic to enlarge.


Now boys and girls, you should know that the only way to kill vine weevil grubs is to hunt down and kill their leader.  The Sock found the fattest, biggest grub, Vlad the Vine Weevil, scoffing her favourite aeonium! So she impaled him on the end of her knife!

Oh look children he's waving bye bye!  Bye bye Vlad!  Bye bye.....



The Sock stripped the entire basket down and those surviving succulents who had enough stem left after the chomped rot had been cut out will be replanted.  The hanging gabion may need to be rethought next year.



There is now another problem.  The gabion basket hadn't been treated with vine weevil killer and neither had the aeoniums lifted from the garden.  Is it now too late to treat them as the Sock doesn't want a load of vine weevils hatching out in the greenhouse?  I'm afraid this is the one time the Sock uses chemicals and they get Provado'd as several attempts with nematodes weren't successful in the past.

17 comments:

James A-S said...

I'm not convinced that the idea of an impaled weevil will catch on among the manufacturers of Advent calendars.
I think, in this case, that even a naked Beardshaw is preferable.

Ms B said...

Mutters, "Must find the number for the RSPCA. If only La Sock hadn't filmed that incident. It could have been a tame weevil put there for effect...."

Arabella Sock said...

Jeesus Ms B.! It's not like I ate the bugger!

James, I'm sorry to have to tell you that Advent is not all Ho Ho! Ho ho!
and my calendar merely reflects the sad reality. It worries me that you would have even imagined a naked Beardshaw...

Yan said...

My word verification at the moment is 'devil'. An apt one considering the subject. You could have used a bamboo skewer and got the lot, not just stuck at one and a knife.

I'm with you on Provado - I'm all for organic, but there are times when you need a big gun and lots of bullets. Some Heuchera seedlings I acquired on holiday seem to have come with their own VWs and I'm worried that they may have infected other things. It's now a moot point whether the plants will survive, it's either VWs or Provado poisoning!

PS Love the Poinsettia outfit

The Constant Gardener said...

Impaled vine weevil grubs are definitely on my list of things to generate Christmas goodwill. Which is surely what advent calendars are all about.

You must have abseiling vine weevils where you are. Have you told them they're not supposed to be able to fly?

I would say it's late to treat them now but you'll probably have got most of them anyway from your combined lethal knifing/removal from container techniques. I'd go round washing off the soil from the roots of anything you haven't had a good look at already and re-potting in clean compost.

And zap the little bu***rs to within... no make that beyond an inch of their squidgy little lives next spring.

Carrie said...

Ah, an advent calender that shows the downs in life that we may fully apreciate the ups all the more. All damn Vine Weevils should be shot (or indeed stabbed) on the spot. I can think of no good they are bringing to the world.

great big bloomers said...

Hey all ....such harsh speak of the little evil weevils..
There is a wholly justifiable reason for their mere existance ..
That the big fat Robin in my glass house just thinks they are like
birdie caviar...
He will swoop from a mile to get a taste of their delicious yummy taste..
Great idea for the advent calender..

Yan said...

I'm sorry, gbb, but anyone can live without caviare! If there were no V.W.s in your glasshouse he'd still manage quite well.

There is positively no excuse for Vine Weevils. Or slugs for that matter, she said, warming to the subject ...

Obelixx said...

I wish someone could explain the purpose of vine weevils and, for that matter, moles! Neither seem essential to anyone's food chain.

Who or what eats moles? What purpose do they serve?

emmat said...

I can't believe you gave us the potential to enlarge the picture of that gross thing. Bonkers. xxx

Arabella Sock said...

Obelixx the answer is Mexicans.

HappyMouffetard said...

Commiserations on the infestation of evil wriggly b*ggers but congratulations on the brilliant mole joke.

Your impaler comment made me think of one of my favourite jokes:

Q: What do you call a vampire antelope?
A: Vlad the Impala
Well, it makes me laugh.

Plant Mad Nige said...

I'm sure you need no more advice on how to get rid of vine weevils. Provado is, of course, the only truly foolproof way, nasty stuff though it is. I confess to using it too, but as little as possible, particularly outdoors. (Worried about possible effects on bees.)

What gives me more concern is your gabion infestation. I never have and never will understand how these civil engineering devices found their way into gardens. I know of no chemical cure so I suppose we must just hope for rapid corrosion.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that's mole, Arabella
And delicious it is
Can't do accents I'm afraid on this keyboard.
Do you know that adult vine weevils look quite cute?
sort of chubby, and as if they want to go and live on the council tip?
I'm not convinced about naked Beardshaws though - he's very sweet, but I would prefer a naked Monty - preferably slightly smutty from having climbed down the chimney.....................
Anonjan

Martyn Cox said...

The thought of aeniums being routed by vine weevils sends a shiver down my spine. I treated mine to a dose of Provado back in early September, so fingers crossed they make it through. All is not lost with yours, take stem cuttings of the remnants.

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Impaling is always the best choice when one is confronted with suckers and other assorted baddies.

Arabella Sock said...

Well I think I am probably in agreement about the general use of gabions.. But... I did decide to use one as a hanging basket years before all and very sundry did. Plus I wanted a modern concept to go with the rest of the front gravel garden so the usual cottagey looking hanging basket was out.