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Hi, I recently joined and enjoy receiving notices and ideas. Thanks.
Meanwhile I wonder if you can help me. Last summer my Scarlet runner beans were attacked by what I think were crickets. The growth struggled to establish itself against whatever was chewing it back. I decided it wasn’t slugs or snails as pellets only turned up the occasional dead snail and when I went out at night with a torch I found nothing. When I put out a container of beer as a last resort, I noticed a gathering of around ten what looked like drowned crickets. They were about two plus centimetres long with big jumping hind legs. Would this be what was eating the new growth and how might I prevent the same happening this spring? Three years ago when I first planted a tepee of runner beans in the same garden area, I had no problems apart from the wind. Is there something I can add to the soil so the plants are healthy and vigorous and better able to combat an invasion?

Thanks for your help.
Regards, Julie

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Hi Julie, You will be spot on re crickets, the only other one are birds, but you would have noticed this. You could try Neem granules when you sow the beans and see if the Neem oil gets absorbed by the plant which will then deter the biting/sucking insects (works for lots of other plants) Try earlier sowing to get in before the crickets are around. In late August we are releasing a range of “Popadomes” mobile covers that can be placed over crops to prevent insects getting to them, so this could work as well.

Thanks the Palmers Team

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