Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Little blighters

You might remember that earlier in the year I sowed several packets of seed into my wildflower bed in the garden.  Not a single one has come up.

I sowed a free packet of wildlife friendly seeds from Countryfile (a TV show), two packets of wildlife friendly seed mixes, some sweet peas, some free (Gardeners World Magazine) zinnias and some poppies.  Six - yes, count them, six!!! - different lots of seeds.

All sprinkled and watered in as instruction on the various packets - or just sprinkled liberally in the case of the poppies.

Not a single thing came up - I know, I said that already, can you tell that I am cross!!  Look at it.  Nothing here at all from the seeds.


I put it down to the squirrel, but other - more likely - suggestions were made of mice, birds and so on.  However, I have seen no mice activity and I watched for birds very carefully and although they take great delight in digging around in the grass, flinging the bark mulch about looking for bugs under it, and they will later on peck the grapes and the apples - neither worth eating so I don't mind! - I have never seen any birds in this border.

A great mystery.

Until today.  When I was reading my Gardeners World Magazine - August in case you are interested! - I found this.


Look what it says.  Ants steal seeds.....

This bed is riddled with ants, you can see some of them here, there are hundreds of them.


So I have, at last, found the culprits.  It is the ants, the little blighters!!  Seems as though it will have to be full grown plants only in here from now on unless I can evict the ants.....

In other garden news, roses are blooming, grapes are growing and the pots are looking great - thankfully seeming to be ant free!





Not to self, no more seeds!

Amy

42 comments:

  1. What a shame :-( Little thieves! Well, at least the flowers are pretty.

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  2. Oh those little devils!! They probably thought they'd died and gone to heaven, all those beautiful seeds hand delivered and prepared just for them! And such a variety too! That's too bad, maybe that's what happened to some of my cosmos and all of my sweet peas ! Your flowers are lovely!!

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  3. You can always sow them in seed trays then plant out in clumps, they may well appear else where in the garden if the ants are taking them :-)

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  4. They also can ruin strawberries by eating the seeds off the outside, they can make a nest under plants and ruin them, they can eat there way round potatoes and leave them looking all manky. In short ants are a pain and we use ant powder to keep them away from out veg.

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  5. Some wildflower seeds take more than one season to germinate, but I agree, to have none come up at all makes it look like other things were at work :o) How infuriating. You could try growing some in pots next spring? xx

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  6. I never knew that about ants! They certainly had a feast on all those seeds!

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  7. Dear Amy
    I have just suffered a similar outcome with my cosmos - nurturing and growing them on, ready to flower and potting them into a tub... when suddenly all the rain encouraged all the snails and my cosmos have been reduced to tattered stems. Joy and disappointment seem to go hand in hand in the garden! It's a good thing that there are other plants to enjoy.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  8. I did that once too and nothing came of them. Oh well, I guess the ants enjoyed them and at least the seeds were free. Your pink and blue flower combos are beautiful! Have a great week Amy. XX Pam

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  9. I never have heard that before, I will take more notice of ants in future! How disappointing that nothing appeared. Ants hate mint so maybe you can have some in a pot close by and they may stay away! At least you have some lovely flowers elsewhere. I was photographing our grapes this evening they look a similar size. Sarah x

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  10. How annoying. Our seeds never seem to take, maybe this is the reason why. Seedlings fair much better. Although I'm not very green fingered.

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  11. I despise any little critter that eats my flowers. Perhaps treating the ground with some edible diatomaceous earth will do the trick. If it's not Japanese beetles, it's ants!

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  12. Well, that explains why many of my seeds haven't come up! I'll be starting them indoors next year! Gardening is really a risk, isn't it?

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  13. Your garden is looking lovely Amy, mine is waterlogged at the moment. I never have any success with wildflower seeds I wonder if I have ants too. ) xx

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  14. I did the same, planted seeds and had visions of the prettiest wildflower border. Nothing. Nada. No ants, either. I'm blaming the dog and his giant feet.

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  15. Those darn little buggers! I would never think of a bunch of little critters like that being able to take ALL of those seeds!! It's actually pretty amazing if you think about it. Well hugs over this year's sorry results...but looking forward to next year now that you know what you don't want to do! Lol ;)
    xoxo

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  16. Don't give up sowing seeds. I would try again next year but in a different space or spaces. I sowed a packet of Countryfile seeds together with some saved poppy seed heads and some leftover cosmos seed at my allotment and they have been wonderful, flowering non-stop beautifully since the middle of June. I have millions of ants in my garden and can't decide whether they are a good or bad thing.

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  17. I have heard that grits chase ants away. Buy them in a box in the cereal aisle and make a grit border. Ants don't like cinnamon and they don't like grits.

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  18. I feel sorry for the squirrel. He was getting the blame and it wasn't him at all! ;o)

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  19. Well, I'll be, ants! I'll remember that and maybe we've had the same problems in the past, as I've put seed in at times and nothing has showed. The photos of your garden are lovely though, and can't wait till the weather warms here to get out in mine a bit more. Maybe next spring you can get some growing in seed trays, then plant them out. Enjoy what is there and take care.

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  20. Hi Amy, My hubbie planted some of those seeds from Countryfile and says they grew OK. Ants can be quite a nuisance can't they! Hubbie grew lots of marigolds and straw plants from seed this year, the straw plants grew quite leggy but eventually they have quite a lot of flowers. Lovely to see your grapes doing well - we have a vine, inherited from an uncle but it's a bit swamped by a Hazelnut tree. Will have to see if we save the vine from the tree as I'd hate to lose my inherited plant!

    Hope you are having a more pleasant week this week. Take care of yourself, Barbara xx

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  21. If there's a nest in your border and you disturb it then the ants will move on - although you can never be sure where they're going to go ... it's definitely a good idea to start your seeds off in trays next year. I have similar problems but with slugs. Hey ho, the joys of gardening! xx

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  22. Everything is growing beautifully! Your roses are lovely!

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  23. Little blighters indeed! I had no idea. x

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  24. ants are very interesting creatures. always working away. so fast & quickly running around. i noticed this year ... i have not had any in our house. usually we have a period right when it gets warm where they are inside. & then disappear. mom always calls them the hunter ants ... they are looking for food. i was always worried it was something left around like food or sugar??! ( :

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  25. Another reason the hate ants! I had no idea.

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  26. Your flowers look so pretty. I especially like the daisy-looking ones, or maybe they're cosmos? Whatever they are, they are really nice.

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  27. I know the ants are terrible sometimes!
    In summer I have tons of them!
    Love yours flowers Amy!!

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  28. Hi Amy :)

    It's funny you posted this, because I had the same thing happen with my seeds and didn't realize it was the ants, until I noticed a stream of them carrying birdseed. I never knew that before!

    Also, the last post about cakes.... It's so much better for you to eat homemade things. I swear the chemicals make you gain weight, because all the older people I knew ate homemade sweets all the time and didn't have a problem. And don't listen to the government about your food. Last time it was eggs that were the culprit lol

    xo,
    rue

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  29. Hi Amy! Oh, I didn't know that about ants! Those little boogers stealing your seeds! Your plants do look very pretty and look at the baby grapes! Thank you so much for popping in to my travel blog. How nice to know you've visited some of the same sights.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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  30. We were talking about some of our seeds that never came up tonight. I wonder if the ants got them too?
    Your flowers are beautiful!

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  31. Get rid of the ants! Hahaha!
    Your flowers look lovely...how you doing?
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  32. Aloha Amy! I just found your blog - I forget how but somehow I ended up there... I think it was when you posted a comment... ::hmm::: but anyways ::extending hand:: My name is Karisma and I love your space here! I love the Five on Friday link up you have and am excited to join in! How lovely! The colors in your garden are beautiful. I have been trying to garden since we moved into our home (going on two years now) and I have failed at least three times now. It's the mosquitos... I can't be out there without getting eaten. My little boy too, so attempts at gardening are put on a hold for now, but I hope to keep on keeping on. It would be so lovely to be able to supplement our produce with fresh things from our own garden. Thank you so much for sharing! I look forward to visiting with you more in this space! =)

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  33. Thanks for solving the mystery of my not-showing-up wildflowers !! Same problem here.... I blamed it on everything, weather, bad seeds, birds, even the wild rabbits, but I never realized those little scoundrels would be to blame !

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  34. Ants... Now that explains a lot! My free gardeners world zinnias have started to flower but I treated myself to a packet of Sarah Raven mixed asters and not one of those has grown. And we have loads of ants...

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  35. I was digging a hole to put in a new plant and uncovered an ants nest - they were crawling all over my feet and biting - they definitely are a pesky nuisance.

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  36. You learn something new everyday and ants eating seeds is one of them, I really didn't know that. The pots are looking good.

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  37. Your garden looks great. We've had trouble with rabbits eating the peas before they get more than an inch high. You could plant your seeds in trays or small pots until they are big enough to plant out.

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  38. I too planted a pack of wild flower seeds. mine have all come out as grass? think I was had. Trouble is I can not remember were I got them from :(
    Amanda xx

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  39. We planted those country file seeds...nothing and we don,t have ants. I wonder how many others had the same result, maybe a dodgy batch ?

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  40. You have a prob with seeds, we can't keep lupins for love nor money. They just disappear. Not a trace of them, no roots, nothing, zilch! Slugs and snails, perhaps? No idea! Yes, they devour the leaves above ground, but to leave not a trace is a mystery to us.

    Margaret P

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  41. I have an area in my garden where nothing ever seems to flourish, where there is a small but determined ant colony. Very frustrating. X

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  42. well I have certainly learnt something new! sorry they stole your seeds! x

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