Source Earthworms ‘protect against slugs’ This wormy news was taken from a BBC report. I really don’t have any real details on what kind of worm(s) work best nor how many worms are necessary to achieve effective slug control. But if you have a slug problem this is worth looking into. Adding more worms to your garden can only be a good benefit to your garden plot.
Earthworms are the secret saviors of the garden, according to new research showing how they can offer protection against slugs. Hidden from view below ground, the humble worms seem to be able to stop slugs eating leaves. Scientists think they boost plants’ resistance to slugs by increasing their uptake of nitrogen.
In tests, the presence of earthworms in the ground reduced the number of leaves damaged by slugs by 60 per cent. Increasing plant diversity also kept the slugs at bay, but to a lesser extent.
Austrian expert Dr Johann Zaller, from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, said: “Our results suggest that two processes might be going on. Firstly, earthworms improved the plant’s ability to protect itself against slugs perhaps through the build up of nitrogen containing toxic compounds.
Secondly, even though these slugs are generalists they prefer widely available food, and in high diverse ecosystems slugs eat less in total because they have to switch their diets more often since plants of the same species are less available. The research is reported in the online journal BMC Ecology
Spanish slugs, Arion vulgaris, were then introduced and allowed to roam freely. The slug, which grows to a length of 6 incges(15cm), is one of the 100 most destructive invasive species in Europe and considered a major pest. Slugs damaged 60 per cent less leaves when earthworms were present, regardless of the species composition of the plant communities. Per cent leaf area consumed by slugs was 40 per cent lower in communities containing 12 plant species. Scientists said “Grasses were generally avoided by the slugs.”
Source Love thy neighbor Grow bigger and better peppers by planting Basil near your pepper plants.
The presence of basil positively enhanced germination rates of chilli seeds, validating the claims of many gardeners who recognize the beneficial effect of basil on the growth of chilli plants.
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