Wednesday, May 23, 2018

25 May

Summer Pests to Look out For!

Luckily, most garden pests thrive during the harsh winter months but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any in your summer garden! Many thrive in hot weather like we’ve been having recently. Wet weather followed by warm weather can be especially encouraging for many pests including slugs, snails, aphids, red spider mites and vine weevils.

Slugs & Snails!

Slugs and snails may be your biggest garden pest this summer. It’s time to protect any vulnerable growth by enforcing your slug and snail protection. They aren’t easy to get rid of so you’ll need multiple ways to combat these garden pests

. Slugs and snails will infest pots, eat their way into potatoes and feast upon your prize juicy strawberries leaving a myriad of holes.

Snails leave a silvery slime trail wherever they go so they are easy to spot. They eat the soft green bits between the leaf ribs leaving a skeleton leaf behind. Slugs, similarly, eat the leaves but don’t leave anything behind!

Initially, add a layer of grit over your soil, this surface will be avoided by slugs and snails. If you see them in your garden remove them by hand and relocate them to hedgerows. Draw the slugs away from your plants with beer, put some in a jar buried into the ground as a trap for slugs. Coffee grounds scattered over your soil will also put off slugs and snails and won’t stand out against your garden.

Aphids!

Aphids or ‘green fly’ are small insects that feed on all foliage and flowers and are particularly partial to ornamental plants, fruit, vegetables and houseplants. There are over 500 species of Aphid in Britain and they range in size from 1-7mm (1/16 – 1/4in) long.

Aphids create a sticky surface on plants which encourages a growth of unattractive sooty mould, aphids will also eventually distort plants. They can be carried for hundreds of miles by wind or air currents and can transfer viruses to other plants notably Strawberries, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Dahlias and Sweet peas.

Get rid of aphids as soon as possible. Walk around the garden and use a cloth to wipe off any aphids or a spray of water, paying particular attention to the underside of leaves. Don’t over fertilise, this will produce an abundance of greenery which aphids love, use slow release fertilisers instead.

Red Spider Mites!

The red spider mite is a common sap-feeding pest which causes mottled leaves on greenhouse plants, houseplants as well as garden plants. Common victims are: vines, peach, nectarines, cucumbers, tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, poinsettias, orchids and Impatiens.

Destroy any plants that are infected by red spider mites but don’t put them on the compost heap because the infection will keep on spreading. Moving plants out of the late afternoon sun will stop red spider mites from taking up a permanent place on your plants.

Vine Weevils!

It is one of the most common and devastating of all the garden pests, vine weevils are vicious pests that can cause suddenly otherwise healthy-looking plants collapse and die. Vine weevils are dangerous because they attack using two methods –  the adults eat the leaves and the grubs eat the roots. Each adult can lay hundreds of eggs and thrive during the summer months.

Vine weevils will eat anything from ornamental plants to fruits, especially those grown in containers. The adults feed mainly at night on the foliage of many herbaceous plants and shrubs. Watch out especially for your Camellias Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Bergenia and fuchsias.

Good hygiene can help reduce the amount of vine weevils in your garden, clean out any debris from your green houses. Put physical barriers in place because vine weevils walk rather than fly. Protect individual pots and the legs of greenhouse staging with sticky tape smeared with non drying glue or fruit grease.



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