Gardeners are growers, lovers of nature, creators of gardens - a home for wildlife and people, and on the whole, gardeners hate killing things. Its a dilemma that goes to the very heart of gardening.
Take my lilies, for example. I love the great, white and maroon variety 'Triumphator'. When I see lily beetles nibbling away at the leaves I have mixed emotions. Anger because my blessed plant is being damaged, and sadness that the animal has to die in order that I can have 'perfect' lilies.
So it is a great relief to find Primrose concentrates on deterrent when it comes to pests.
My front line of defense against insects, flying insects that is, is horticultural fleece. It is an easy option because it is 100% effective and completely environmentally sound. You can get fleece that completely stops insects from passing through and at the same time allows sufficient light, water and air to penetrate.
Ideal for crops of all kinds, but not quite so ideal for flowering plants - you don't actually want to sit in the garden looking at sheet after sheet of white net, as though your garden was in mothballs!
I do, however, leave a cabbage here and a carrot there unprotected! Where would the world be without cabbage white butterflies or carrot fly? Our gardens are almost the last bastions for much of our wildlife, and we all need to do our part!
It is amazing how much damage is done to our gardens by our pets. Little parcels on the lawn promotes moss, and what next door's cat does to my herbaceous borders doesn't bear thinking about! Thankfully there are lots of avoidance products available, from solar powered cat scarers that emit a high frequency alarm whenever the animal approaches to humane and easy to use animal traps of all types.
If I have tried one patent slug remedy, I have tried them all. The amazing truth is they all work, it's just that there are so many millions of slugs and snails in the garden it seems that sometimes they look like they are not working.
The skill is in using your preferred product where they are needed and not spilling them all over the garden. Barrier methods that deter slugs and snails will only work so long as they are clean - when the rain comes, a film of debris soon makes them inoperative, so the answer is to give them a wipe every few days or after rain, and they will continue giving you protection - this is especially important with copper based products, where a little wire wool does the trick!
I must confess to being more than a little interested in pest control methods that highlight something of the animals behaviour. Take wasp traps as an instance. The shape of the trap mimics a wasp nest, and since wasps are highly territorial, they will more often than not simply fly somewhere else when they see one. However, some are more aggressive and will fly inside the trap to see if it can get a free meal. Laced with honey, these traps will take out just those wasps that would otherwise cause beekeepers an ongoing headache.
Some wasps will rob from bee hives, killing lots of bees in the process, and since bees are under enough pressure as it is, a wasp trap is a welcome addition to the garden.
Bird shadows are another case in point, deterring pigeons who mistake the product for a bird of prey. Maybe, with a couple of these in the veg plot I can save myself a few rows of peas that are universally eaten by the small army of feral pigeons surrounding me on all sides. That will make them 'coo' on the other side of their faces!