Wednesday, May 23, 2018

27 Nov

Winter’s Worst Garden Pests and Diseases!

Many garden pests and diseases thrive during the harsh winter months. It’s time to take action using a few simple measures. Here is a list of winter’s worst garden pests and diseases and ways you can tackle them…

Many creatures have evolved to be able to survive both extreme hot and cold weather.  Snails and slugs are able to survive the cold by finding sheltered spots and remaining dormant until the weather gets warmer. Slugs and snails are sneaky creatures which often hide during the daytime and thrive at night when the conditions are cool and moist. To protect your garden try spreading well-crushed eggshells around vulnerable plants, or using copper tape around plant pots – Slugs and Snails do not like to rub their belly across them and will stay away from these plants. A line of lime or salt around your plants can also deter slugs and snails.

Onion fly, beet leaf miner, slugs, cutworms and carrot fly will overwinter in the soil and ruin your winter veg. Dig the soil in winter to expose some of them to the weather and birds. Dig up all roots and burn infested ones to protect your garden from carrot fly larvae.

Aphids can also survive by overwintering on hedgerows and ornamental plants. There’s nothing you can do except keep a lookout for them. Picking them off by hand is usually the best way to stop them spreading. Use a pesticide if necessary. Similarly, Cabbage White Butterfly often overwinters in fences and gates. Keep a lookout and destroy any that you find.

Dampening off can be a big problem this time of year. This disease affects seedlings which have recently germinated or have been overwintered, particularly if they were sown in unsterilised compost. Always sow in sterile compost and water all seed trays with after sowing and again just as seedlings appear.

Root rot can cause the plant to wilt and the leaves to turn yellow. If you try to touch the plant it will feel mushy and look black in colour. The roots affected may literally fall off the plant when you touch them. Take the plant from the soil and wash the roots under running water. Trim the affected roots with a sharp, clean pair of scissors and re-plant in a clean pot.

Badly pruned, insect or frost-damaged branches on roses and other woody plants may develop die-back. Make sure you prune properly this month and remove and destroy the affected parts and treat the cut areas with a systematic fungicide.


2 Comments on "Winter’s Worst Garden Pests and Diseases!"

  1. mr j naylor on Wed, 4th Jan 2012 11:49 am 

    i have small hawthorne hedge that for last 2 years have been eaten bare nearly,what should i do to stop this ,this year, thanks

  2. Jersey gardener on Wed, 4th Jan 2012 12:28 pm 

    Dear Mr. Naylor,

    Thank you for your comment. It sounds like your garden might be suffering from Cankerworms. Cankerworms or ‘inch-worms’ as they’re sometimes called are caterpillars that can defoliate Hawthorns when they’re in abundance.
    Caterpillars hatch from the eggs in late fall or early spring. Older caterpillars are black or greenish with stripes- so if you see them pick them off with gloves! The caterpillars can be controlled with one or more springtime applications of azadirachtin, carbaryl, Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, or spinosad.

    I hope this helps, please let us know if you have any further questions.

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