Dead Head Dahlias Early And Often

Steve suggests dead heading dahlias when the outer petals start to go over, rather than waiting for the whole flower to die and start turning to seed. While this advice isnt wholly about pest control without chemicals, it does actually help.

In vegetable gardening, slugs and snails are the gardens rubbish disposal experts. They tidy awaythe older, decaying leaves. One way of minimising slugs in a veg patch is to keep trimming away older, outer leaves. Dead heading flowers when the outer edges start to go over is the flower gardening equivalent.

But I find this so difficult when there is still a huge, colourful bloom in the border! But when I look at the nibbled petals in my garden, I can see that its definitely mainly in the older flowers that are going over. Earlier dead heading would minimise this.

How to deal with earwigs without using chemicals

Steve says that when you see nibbled petals, it may not be snails that are to blame. It may be earwigs. Theyre the number two pest on dahlias.

The old way of dealing with earwigs without chemicals used to be to put an upturned pot filled with some straw on the top of a pole,says Steve. The earwigs went up into the straw for shelter and you could tip them out somewhere else.