Tuesday, February 20, 2018

27 Jul

Flower Trouble? We Have the Answers!

Bedding plants, like most other garden plants can come under attack from pests and diseases. Things do go wrong even for the most advanced gardeners because plant disease is more likely to do with cultural or environmental fault. Identify any possible problems as early as possible and follow this guide to deter pests and diseases.

Prevent plant trouble before it starts…

  • Make sure each variety is suitable for your location and conditions. E.g. if you have shady areas, don’t try to grow sun-loving plants.
  • Seeds are the best way to grow bedding plants cheaply, but make sure you follow the instructions exactly.
  • Plant out at the right time and in the right way. Make sure the ground is ready, water well and add organic matter. Get rid of any perennial weeds and wait until the danger of frost has passed before planting.
  • Never leave rubbish and plant debris lying around. Boxes, old flower pots and garden debris is a breeding ground for pests and diseases.
  • Feed and water properly. Don’t use too much fertilizer, too much nitrogen encourages greenary rather than flowers. Always water regularly during dry spells.

Deal with any problems asap!

  • Remove what you can by hand. Minor attacks by caterpillars, snails and slugs can usually be controlled by hand.
  • Treat as soon as symptoms appear. It is a good idea to keep some pest control in your garden shed just incase of a sudden outbreak. Find the source of the infection and treat as soon as possible.
  • Keep some spare plants. If early losses occur this is a perfect way for you to fill gaps that appear in your borders and containers.

Leaf & Stem Trouble

Holes and tears in leaves can often be caused by bad weather but sometimes the culprit can be a pest. We have already covered the most common pests such as slugs, snails, vine weevils and aphids. But what about the less common pests that aren’t so obvious? Below is a list of those not so well known pests that may be your garden culprit!

Woodlice are an abundant pest in shady gardens, they love hiding under stones during the day and devouring your plants at night.

Woodlice are an abundant pest in shady gardens, they love hiding under stones during the day and devouring your plants at night. Woodlice cleverly favour plants that have already been attacked by another pest, so you may not always notice. They are rarely serious, remove any by hand if you see them lingering on your plants and remove any rubbish from your garden.

Chrysanthemum Eelworm can cause your leaves to develop brown patches between the veins. If infestation is severe your Aster, Chrysanthemum, Phlox and Zinnia can be killed. Blotch Eelworm has a similar effect on Begonias. If you see any infected leaves remove and dispose of them immediately.

Flea Beetles are tiny black or black and yellow beetles that attack some seedlings. Numerous small round holes will appear in the leaves and growth will be slowed. Spray with the correct controls asa

Flower Trouble

Can’t find whats causing your blooms to be poor in size or discoloured? Take a look at these more unusual answers to your garden problems…

A sudden change in temperature or water content in the soil can cause bud drop, add more organic matter when growing next year

Birds are extremely selective in their choice of flowers. You may never heard of birds attacking garden blooms, but often Polyanthus will suffer a severe pecking in spring or winter.  There is no explanation as to why in one garden plants will be attacked and in another they will not. Add netting to protect your plants.

The two most frequent reasons for a poor display is too much shade or too much feed high in nitrogen. Some bedding plants will hardly bloom and only produce greenary so only choose shade-loving plants and lay off the feed a little. Use fertilizer which has more potash than nitrogen to find a balance.

Colour Break is caused by a virus and unfortunately there is no cure. Petals, when affected will posess streaks or patches of an abnormal colour. Sometimes this is attractive but can cause issues in a single-colour bed.

Bud Drop is a common problem with Sweet Peas. A sudden change in temperature or water content in the soil can cause bud drop, add more organic matter when growing next year.

Root Trouble

Moles can cause havoc in any garden. The hills thrown up by their tunneling are often unsightlyand cause severe root damage

Moles can cause havoc in any garden. The hills thrown up by their tunneling are often unsightlyand cause severe root damage. Sonic detterants should be tried first, but if the problem becomes worse, call a professional exterminator.

Cats love annual flowers. They scratch away at newly transplanted bedding plants and this results in root damage. Protection is not easy, try sprays or planting ‘catnip’ plants in one corner of your garden to steal their focus!

Swift Moths are soil loving caterpillars that enjoy bulbs, corms and rhizomes. Use biologfical control products and hoe regularly.

Chafer Grubs will feed throughout the year on your garden plant roots. If you find these curved grubs in the soil, make sure you use the correct soil-pest killer.


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