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Around the garden in March...read more
Plant life cycles made simple...read more
Clematis vines – a bit of origins and history...read more
Clematis vines – general requirements...read more
Keeping up with perennials...read more
Soil Improving...read more
This week topic is:
Common pests in garden
There are literally hundreds of diseases and garden pests that may affect the plants in your garden. A few are extremely important, and can severely harm the life or output of your garden vegetables, plants, trees and shrubs, and flowers; some common garden pests are important according to your specific garden; many can be safely ignored as too insignificant to merit attention.
If you see soft, oval-shaped insects that hang out together on the buds of your rose bushes, then chances are you have aphids. These insects come in wide range of colors, including green, pink, red, and black. Some have wings, some don't.
It is unlikely for aphids to kill the plant, but they can seriously weaken it. Inspect your plants thoroughly every week so that you can deal with any infestation in an appropriate manner as soon as it occurs.
How to treat the problem then? There is a large variety of chemical sprays in your garden centre to treat aphids, but all will have some bad affect on other beneficial insects and wildlife. Friendly ways of controlling aphids include rubbing them off with your fingers, spray them off with water and the use of insecticidal soap (a potassium-salt soap available at most garden centres). Many people have success by spraying weekly with very diluted washing up liquid - about one teaspoon of Fairy Liquid to a couple of litres of water.
Earwigs live mainly outdoors, but tend to come indoors for protection during the colder months.
In the garden earwigs have a reputation for damaging plants, but most people don’t realise that they also do some good by preying on aphids, greenfly, etc. But if earwigs show up in large number, they may damage flowers’ petals, young vegetables and seedlings.
An organic way to trap earwigs is to put about ¼-inch of vegetable oil into empty short cans - like a tuna can - and placing them around the yard.
You can also buy earwig bait, which contains propoxur or carbaryl, and place it around non-edible plants.
Slugs and snails:
Those are two of the most aggressive garden pests around - and they always return, no matter what measures you take.
The two creatures are similar; snails have a shell, slugs don't. They attack a range of plants, leaving irregular-shaped holes in leaves. They are active at night, but will come out and feed in your garden during cooler, wetter days.
The traditional remedy of liberally scattering slug pellets across the garden is rejected by most gardeners these days on the grounds of environmental responsibility and safety, so what can you do about these devilish pests?
Buried jars of beer are irresistible to slugs and snails and they usually leave plants alone and head for the beer, they fall in, can’t escape and drown. Slugs also love to eat bran and will happily gorge themselves on it. The bran then swells in their stomach and they explode. It’s less effective on snails.
Slugs and snails feed at night, so if you go out with a torch and pick them off those plants most under attack you will be able to catch them.