A GARDENER has told how he has a brilliant hack for bashing critters from plants – using a cheap kitchen staple.
As much as we love the warmer weather, the arrival of spring also comes with other, less welcome guests and they can prove to be a death sentence to your plants.
This has become a huge problem for one TikTok user, @portnoomarketgarden, who had his lettuce destroyed by a particularly menacing pest.
The gardener recently found some of his lettuce plants ruined.
Explaining the problem to his fellow horticulturalists, the TikToker said: “Here’s a little tip for any gardeners out there.
“If you’ve planted something like lettuce and you come back the next day and it looks like it has broken off, this could be the reason why.”
The Donegal man showed off his lettuce garden and pulled out one leaf only to find it had been torn apart.
And as he digged into the soil below, the gardener found the culprit.
He said: “So I planted all these yesterday and I come out this morning and I see this.
“It’s been completely cut off.
“Now I know before I even look in the soil, this has been caused by the larvae of the daddy long legs which is called the leatherjacket.
“Now you want to take a handful of the soil out and have a look through.”
Daddy long legs usually lay hundreds of eggs in late autumn that hatch in the spring.
Once hatched, the annoying larvae feed on roots in the turf when it is warm – and often go unnoticed until it is too late.
After finding and fishing a leatherjacket out of the dirt, The Lord of the Lettuce added: “There it is, that’s the larvae of the daddy long legs.
“They cause serious damage to seedlings, especially lettuce.”
While gardeners may be led to believe that expensive pesticides are the only option to keep the critters away, think again.
Very often these sprays contaminate soil, water, and other vegetation while providing to be toxic to other organisms like birds, and beneficial insects.
Luckily however, the gardener has an organic, non toxic, and relatively cheap solution.
He explained: “A natural way to deter these little critters is by spraying the leaf and roots of the plants with concentrated garlic.”
Viewers rushed to the comments in shock at the gardener’s reveal.
One said: “What. The daddy long legs lay larvae…seriously wow. I never knew this.”
Another added: “Little sods.”
Meanwhile, another gardener has issued a warning after his trees went up like they were “covered in petrol” as weeds were being removed.
Daz Gordon and his wife “try to minimise using chemicals” around the garden, so opt to burn weeds out with a handheld gas burner.
However, danger struck Sunday night when his wife was burning weeds a metre away from a conifer hedgerow and it suddenly went up in flames.
Daz recalled: “By the time we got the hose on it, it was big.
“Lighting all the dry dead growth in the middle of the hedge and spreading way too fast to tackle with one hosepipe.
“The fire was igniting its way along the whole hedgerow faster than we could put it out.
“If either of the sides had lit, it would have posed a danger to ours and our neighbours house.”