Catch problems early so they don't multiply and put good practices in place.
|An Insect Hotel For Beneficial Predators|
Deal With Your Weeds
Problems with weeds lead to problems with pests populations and disease, they also weaken and damage plants. Healthy plants naturally have more resilience to any attack. As weeds are plants that generally grow very fast consuming a lot of goodness and moisture from soil they restrict plants we do want to grow. Often hosting pest and diseases. Groundsel I have discovered is my most hated as this encourages the spread of rust, so we must eradicate it quickly.
Natural weed control would be obviously to weed by hand which works for some shallow rooted weeds. Another method of control is to cover the ground smothering all light and rest in for some considerable length of time, often using landscape material. Mature gardeners will probably remind you they would lay down old carpet as a weed suppressant. These methods are effective and will weaken if not kill but many weeds are very strong thugs and can lie dormant for years only to reemerge.
Forest gardening techniques use layers and layres of cardboard to cover the ground and copious loads of mulch on top and of course no digging. Its very effective but hard work.
Weeds with rhizomes root systems are very difficult to eradicate. As we often do not remove the carrot like root or split it unintentionally with our spade allowing it to produces more shoots. Regular cutting docks down or topping will help control but not stop them. Yo really need to remove or kill the whole root n its entirety.
If you have to spray off broad leaved weeds which is always the last resort then do so carefully. Remember check the active ingredient the harvest interval varies and this is very relevant with veg and fruit growers. Some edible plants are safe to eat the next day and some require a weeks rest. All chemicals whether they be herbicide, fungicide or insecticide work differently.
Deal With Your Pests
Vine Weavel.Many creepy crawlies are hatching larvae at we approach spring. Catch it quick before it does damage. Check your heucheras for the dreaded Vine Weavel. If you find the maggot like pest make sure you kill all the grubs. They have probably dug well into the root. Apparently they can't swim so a boundary or standing plants in a dish of water always stops them. Nematodes and chemicals are available.
Slugs are our worst enemy. The annoying big black ones that cause havoc start to hatch when the soil reaches about 10 degrees. We are blessed with organic slug pellets which can more safely be sprinkled into jam jars to avoid birds eating them and placed close to vulnerable plants from about February 14th 'Slug Day' not valentines any more! From around mid late March natural pest control is available. Nematodes. These are watered on areas slugs habit and the slugs eat them, we therefore use them as the slugs begin to hatch. (You can order here at the nurseries and they will be posted directly to your home.)
Remember slugs like moisture. They will be out now chewing things as they emerge. They dislike crunchy ground. Old remedies include deterrents such as crushed egg shells and modern ones bark chippings. I am not sure how successfully they are. Rough surfaces are not as lovely for slimeing along. Beer traps that is dishes with a bit of beer in attract them and they drown but they also kill beetles and we like them. Copper bands are handy, they don't like to cross the copper. You can also choose to plant in pots so they have a climb and put a ring or collar of copper tape or one of the slimy greasy solutions around the rim. I have notice large plant growers coat the leaves of plants with calcium this perhaps reduces their juicy flavour. We also can use wool pellets and in the all natural Dalefoot compost range the wool definitely deters the slugs.
If you are not going out with a torch at night or investing in chickens or try any of the above there's pellets.
The best advice is to reduce the slugs by what ever means you choose and keep reducing them because they will return in the danger spots. Do not sprinkle pellets like talk every where as the also attract slugs from elsewhere to them.
Recipes For Natural Solutions: Concentrated garlic, boil some up garlic wash recipe. Similarly on the subject of natural remedies we have 1 part milk to 10 parts water to prevent powdery mildew.
Aphids can have a soapy squirt or a blast with a hose pipe, which will destroy their moth parts so they can do no more damage. Basically get them off the plant.There are lots of sprays. They suck the sap of the plant and this excreted sweet honey dew will build up a damaging fungal growth. Seen sometimes as black mould. Encourage lacewings, ladybirds and predators that will eat them. Watch out for the ants farming them in huge colonies. They appear like a grey down covering the stem, horrid. Alternatively the natural predator ladybirds can be ordered in the shops and they will be sent directly to your home address.
Black Spot.Get some bagged rotted manure under your roses to suppress any of the fungal black spot in the ground in old foliage. The rich feed will also give them a healthy boost as they are invigorated to grow. Healthy plants are always less susceptible to problem just as were stronger when we are healthy. The perfect gardener would have been spraying every 2 weeks since boxing day, oh dear!Do cut off ant black stems if you spot them, there not good.
Attract Beneficial Predators
One of the very best things anyone can do for their garden is to encourage natural predators as I have mentioned. Ladybirds, lacewings and even wasps eat aphids and they have to be doing a good job if you consider how fast aphids actually reproduce and that in the warmer months they are all female reproduce from their own body without a male. My chickens are brilliant with slugs but unfortunately they can dig things up that much prefer being planted in the ground. Water is very beneficial it encourages toads and frogs amongst other beneficial friends to the garden. Even if its a small area in a barrel perhaps planted with a water lilly it will help bring the predators that will reduces pest and diseases naturally. Hedgehogs are a fabulous natural predator to encourage into your garden and eat all the things you do not want. Its well worth creating a nice spot for them to hibernate or building a hedgehog house. Remember not to light your bonfire piles when they are hibernating, many make homes in wood piles waiting to be burnt.
Lastly the latest trend is insect hotels where you build log piles, stack cardboard canes and all sorts of simple everyday bits and bobs that provide habitat for beneficial bugs and this includes things like sweet little solitary bees and those wonderful bug munching hedgehogs.
Planting for Pollinators:Bees
Supporting The Bee In Spring
Supporting The Bees In Late Summer And Autumn
Price List For Natural Pest Control
Aphid Control with Ladybird Larvae (Adalia) (Treats up to 20m²)£22.99
Aphid Control withLadybird Larvae (Adalia) With Release Bag (Treats up to 20m²)£24.99
Aphid Control with Adult Ladybirds (25 Adults Treats up to 5m²)£15.99
Aphid Control with Lacewing Larvae (Chrysopa MC System) (Treats up to 20m²)£9.99
Aphid Control with Lacewing Larvae (Chrysopa MC System) (Treats up to 100m²)£22.99
Aphid Control with Lacewing Larvae (Chrysopa) (Treats up to 200m²)£26.99
Mealy Bug Control with Cryptolaemus (Treats up to 20m²)£22.99
Caterpillar Control with Steinernema Carpocapsae (Treats up to 60m²)£9.99
Vine Weevil Control with B-Green (Treats up to 10m², Soil Temperature over 12°)£12.99
Vine Weevil Control with B-Green (Treats up to 100m², Soil Temperature over 12°)£29.99
Vine Weevil Control with Kraussei (Treats up to 10m², Low Soil Temperature 5°-12°)£17.99
Vine Weevil Control with Kraussei (Treats up to 100m², Low Soil Temperature 5°-12°)£39.99
Ant Nest Control with Steinernema (Treat up to 6 nest)£12.99
Ant Nest Control with Steinernema (Treat up to 60 nests)£19.99
Slug Control with Nematodes (40m2)£13.99
Slug Contol with Nematodes (100m2)£29.99
Spider Mite Control with ABS System (Treats up to 25m²)£9.99
Spider Mite Control with ABS System (Treats up to 75m²)£19.99
Spider Mite Control with Phytoseiulus (Treats up to 100m²)£12.99
Spider Mite Control with Phytoseiulus (Treats up to 200m²)£22.99
Whitefly Control with Encarsia (Treats up to 50m²)£9.99
Whitefly Control with Encarsia (Treats up to 100m²)£18.99
Chafer Grub Control with Heterorhabditus (Treats up to 10m²)£12.99
Chafer Grub Control with Heterorhabditus (Treats up to 100m²)£29.99
Leather Jacket control with Steinernema (Treats up to 10m²)£12.99