Wednesday, May 23, 2018

09 Aug

Get Rid of Pests this Autumn!

Pests don’t have to be combated with harsh chemicals. You can use simple methods to stop pests attacking your plants. First of all, use natural controls like hand picking off aphids or other pests, setting up barriers or trimming off effected plants.

If those fail, a homemade pest control can be efficient enough to stop them attacking your plants. There are a few things you must remember when using pest control…

  • Test a small amount on the affected plant before applying it to the entire plant. Monitor the plant’s response for a few days.
  • Add liquid soap (not detergent) to your homemade control, this helps to emulsify and blend the ingredients.
  • Only apply sprays early in the day or evening if it’s a cool day. Spraying your plants during hot weather can make them sun scorched!
  • Examine your plants thoroughly to make sure you aren’t harming beneficial insects before you spray.
  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your skin and if its a breezy day cover your eyes and nose.

Slugs and snails are proving to be a big problem across the UK.

Snails will climb and leave a silvery slime trail and nibbled leaves behind. They devour the soft green bits between the leaf ribs, leaving a ‘skeleton’ behind. Slugs are similar to snails in that they eat all parts of leaves but they thrive nearer to the ground, they can even attack underground which is why potatoes can be a prime target. They particularly like new shoots and soft growth, and therefore are likely to be the culprits if you notice new plants that have been eaten away to nothing!

Slugs and snails can be deterred in a number of ways. Initially, add a layer of grit over your soil, coffee grounds scattered over your soil will put off slugs and snails and won’t stand out against your garden. 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. Slugs and snails get a small electric shock when they come into contact with copper. You can buy cheap copper strips from craft shops, attach them around the base of your pot or place pots on a sheet of copper.

It’s not just small pests you have to worry about, animals can cause just as many problems in your garden.

Cats can be a massive problem in gardens, especially if it’s only a fence separating your garden with your cat loving neighbours! Cats are extremely agile so normal barrier methods don’t always work. However, there are some good alternatives. Ultrasonic devises that produce a sound only cats can hear putting them off or scented gels and sprays they don’t like can work.  If you don’t want to buy anything, why not try setting your sprinkles to a certain time or use a sensor to set them off. Placing spikey plants around the plants you want to protect will also deter cats.

Rabbits can be as much as an issue as cats, try shaking baby powder on young seedlings and garlic powder on mature plants to make them unpalatable. Encircle plants with small branches or spikey plants.


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