Greenway's green pest controls

The vinery in the Walled Garden at Greenway in Devon

The garden team at Greenway have welcomed some new members to their team - thousands of bugs who are taking care of the pests in the glass houses.

Meet the team

The newest members of the garden team are insects, beetles and wasps that have been introduced to control the pests in the glass houses. They either eat or parasitize their prey and are keen hunters so don't leave a leaf unturned. Although there are many thousands of these insects in the glass houses, they only have eyes for aphids, mealy bugs, red spider mites and the like.

 

No more chemicals

Until the introduction of these bio controls, the gardeners have had to spray the plants under glass to control pests. They primarily used organic sprays, but occasionally had to resort to proper pesticide that is toxic. Having these insects roaming freely means the team no longer have to spray at all, which is far better for the environment. And, importantly, the introduced insects do not harm our native insects and only target the desired pests.

 

Long-term plans

As many of these predators are from overseas they cannot survive our winters, which means they have to be re-introduced each year. Gardener Juliet, who manages the plant nursery, arranged for a consultant to draw up a plan of attack, to introduce different predators at intervals to get the pests under control at first, and then keep them under control into the future.