Pests in the potting shed

1courgetteworkI have cockchafer guts all over my glasses. And believe me it’s times like these you are grateful for being myopic. Imagine if I wasn’t wearing any occular protection.

It all happened when I was having a session in the potting shed. Or should that be A Session.  I spent hours in there today. A good five hours of work.  Potting on the brassicas and lettuce seedlings.  Sorting out the flower seedlings, and generally turning it into a very busy food factory. It is crammed.

I needed to get the courgette and cucumber plants up into decent sized pots as they were climbing out of their small seed trays. That’s a relief. I’m looking forward to my yellow courgettes this year. It will be a first for my potager.1verticalplants

One of the last jobs I did was to inspect the scented pelargoniums in the terracotta pots. I couldn’t work out why some of them haven’t come back into growth.

So I tipped out the largest pot to have a rummage in the compost and found three fat cockchafer grubs curled around the roots. What was left of the roots.

Now cockchafer grubs are revolting. Fatter than you would like in a grub. A sort of witchetty grub but with scary legs and a rather alarming mouth and head.  I usually dispatch things this large with my sharp secateurs. But I didn’t have them to hand. So I squished the grub in my fingers.

1pottingshedpest1And guts and grub squirted all over my face.

My yelp of disgust woke up the cat.

And what a shame the aroma was not that of scented pelargonium roots.  Because that was what they were feasting on.

You will be spared graphic shots of grub, remains of grub, my face and my glasses.  Let’s just say it was a salutory lesson in pests in the potting shed.  From now on the only pest I want to see in the shed is Artur. scentedpelargonium

I have salvaged about half a dozen pelargonium plants and as soon as they put on growth I’ll be taking cuttings to increase my stock.

I use the scented pelargonium leaves in my sorbets in summer. And in my jams. And during emergency sessions such as these. Crushing the leaves and inhaling the gorgeous aroma take your mind off the carnage of dead grubs.