Slugs eat our seedlings!
Solution: Order in nematodes to use when soil warms up. Earlier in the year, check plant pots for eggs in the soil and baby slugs lurking in crevices or under pots.
We can’t find the plants we want! Solution: Invest in an up-to-date copy of the RHS Plant Finder. It lists all the plants currently available (by Latin name) and which nurseries sell them. If Latin names make your blood boil, this is why we use them – it makes it easy to find the plant you want, not a different plant with the same common name.
There are no gardening programmes on TV!
Solution: Get a few gardening DVDs to watch. There are DVDs of Geoff Hamilton’s BBC series, and older series such as The Victorian Garden that are still a delight to watch. Visit www. amazon.co.uk for a good selection!
Weather wise Largest UK snail
The largest snail in the UK can be up to 5cm (2in) across. The edible Roman snail, Helix pomatia, was possibly brought to the UK by the Romans as a source of food. It’s so rare it has legal protection, but they do thrive on lime-rich soils. The Chilterns in ” Buckinghamshire is a particular hot spot for them, but there have been problems in the area with poachers who sell them to restaurants for up to Â£1 each. In England, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it illegal to kill, injure or take a Roman snail by any method or possess, transport, offer for sale or sell live or dead Roman snails’.
â¢ From baking desert to frozen tundra! The hottest temperature ever recorded on earth was 58C (136F) in the Libyan Desert. The coldest was -87C (-126F) recorded at Vostok Station in Antartica. If plants could survive in these temperatures, they would give an all-new meaning to plant hardiness ratings!
â¢ In Antartica vegetation is predominantly made up of mosses, liverworts, lichens and fungi. There are only two species of flowering plants to be found: Antarctic hair grass, Deschampsia antarctica, and Antarctic pearlwort, Colobanthus quitensis. These occur on the South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland Islands and along the western Antarctic Peninsula.
â¢ Plants living in the desert have adapted to survive. Barrel cacti are various members of the two genera Echinocactus and Ferocactus, and the most common plant found in the deserts across the world. They can reach 10m (33ft). Its flowers vary in colour from red, orange-pink or yellow. And, yes, some of the spines can be as dangerous as they look!
Largest snail in the world
Although not native to the UK, the world’s largest snail is the giant African land snail, Achatina achatina. One individual grew to 38cm (15in) long – imagine the size of the beer traps!
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