Vine Weevil in the Kitchen
Two questions, if that is O.K. -
(1) Last night I went through into the kitchen and found a Vine Weevil walking along my worktop. I was rather horrified and wondered how it had got there and where it had come from. I detest them !!
I have not come across many, but they have always been in the house. I understand they cannot fly, so I am wondering how they get into the house and why would they bother? I understand the larvae feast on the roots of plants, but wonder what the adults live on, and on which plants in particular?
(2) I recently purchased a raised bed liner. Earlier today I found an article about liners and drainage and the reply was that the liners are porous. I had been intending to put some gravel in the bottom of the liner (I have already done this with one I purchased last year but have only just got around to using), hoping that that would help drainage in the event of very wet weather like last year. I have also put gravel in the bottom of some of my plant pots, as I had run out of crocks etc. I now read on various sites that gravel is the wrong thing to use and actually does the opposite of draining and the water lies on top of the gravel and the plant roots become water-logged. It's too late for my first raised bed, as there is no way I can empty the compost and gravel out, I'm too old!! But what is your opinion about the gravel as drainage?
I also purchased an Eco Coir Bale. Would some of this (when mixed with water, of course) mixed in with the compost, help with drainage? I am hoping to grow beetroot, leeks, spring onions, broad beans and maybe carrots. Is the coir suitable for veg. growing? The compost I would be mixing it with is Miracle-Gro for fruit and vegetables.
Looking forward to your reply in due course, and many thanks in anticipation.
J. T. Fletcher (Mrs).
Many thanks for your e-mail to Harrod Horticultural.
With respect to your first question on Vine Weevils, adults feed on the leaves of a number of plants. Favoured plants I have found them to be on are Fuchsia, Cyclamen, Yew and Ivy. Primula is one that many people have mentioned to me they have found them on. If you haven't found any damage on your house plants or larvae in the pots, I would imagine the adults you've come across have wandered in from outside. You are right they don't fly, but will roam quite a distance in search of food and are attracted to light so often end up indoors.
Your second question about using gravel, well personally I find gravel works well if its of larger size and non-uniform. Pea gravel, gravel of similar size or smaller I have found to be a problem as it does compact together leaving less gaps for water to drain. The coir bale will also be great for helping with drainage as it prevents the soil from compacting. I've grown numerous vegetables in soil containing coir and never had a problem, so hopefully you shouldn't experience any either.
Many thanks for your questions,
Pest Control Expert