Monday 19 March 2018

Snails? We lob them over the fence

'I am planning to start up a business selling a garden tool product'
'I am planning to start up a business selling a garden tool product'

A fifth of gardeners admit to throwing snails over the fence into their neighbour's garden to get rid of them, a survey has revealed.

The poll for the Royal Horticultural Society found 80% of people will be heading into their gardens this Easter to tackle spring jobs such as weeding and mowing the lawn.

Many gardeners are having to deal with the consequences of the winter storms and prolonged wet weather, the RHS said.

The survey of more than 1,500 people to mark National Gardening Week this week also found that good gardeners make good neighbours, with just 3% admitting to growing plants to block out their neighbours' gardens.

But while almost four fifths (78%) said they had never thrown a snail into their neighbour's garden, 22% admitted to the horticultural crime.

Londoners were most likely to get rid of snails by lobbing them over the fence, with 30% saying they had done so, while it was least common in Scotland, where just 14% had thrown the garden pest next door.

Some 80% of those quizzed said they would be weeding this weekend, 63% said they would be mowing and 44% cutting back last year's foliage on herbaceous plants.

The survey found men were more likely to be caring for their garden lawns than women, with 70% of men saying they would be mowing, compared to 57% of women.

More than half the men questioned also said they would be tending the lawn this week to help it recover from the winter, compared to 35% of women.

Other jobs that gardeners will be getting busy with at Easter include pruning shrubs after flowering and sowing seeds indoors.

RHS Head of Advisory, Guy Barter, said: "After the challenging cold weather last spring, gardeners are enjoying a great start to the season this year and making the most of the sunshine.

"In March at the RHS we had record calls to our advisory team and answered over 6,000 gardening questions.

"Most of the questions have been about pruning trees and shrubs, particularly those damaged by winter gales, and dealing with lawns rich in moss and with sparse grass, in this case a consequence of prolonged wet weather."

The survey also revealed that most people gardened to create beautiful spaces to relax in, and many would be having barbecues, meals and family gatherings in their gardens this Easter.

Mr Barter added: "People wanting to use their gardens as an extension of the home is a trend we've seen growing at RHS Chelsea over the last decade and there's no doubt there's an appetite to create beautiful social spaces to enjoy with our family and friends outside in our gardens."

Many gardeners intend to have more pots and more flowers to decorate their gardens with this year, which was good news for garden centres, he said.

Press Association

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