Many different troubles are likely to occur in your garden. That is reality. The nature of the plant is significant here, some hardy shrubs might stay trouble free all their lives, an old-fashioned Rose might be host to an assortment of pests and diseases every season. The weather is another basic factor, there will be slugs when it’s wet, greenfly when it is dry, frost damage when it’s cold and red spider mite when it’s hot. So both expert and novice gardeners can expect problems.
The big difference is that the expert knows what to look for, takes steps to cut down the likelihood of pest and disease attack, and tackles trouble the moment it appears. Garden troubles are tackled in two basic ways, culturally and chemically. One method cannot replace the other, they both have their job to do in a well-tended garden.
You must learn this indispensable art. It is obviously essential for ensuring fruit and flower production, but it is also essential in the war against pests and diseases. Cut out dead wood. Remove congested branches to ensure adequate exposure to air. Paint large cuts with Arbrex.
Choose wisely when buying plants:
Reject soft bulbs, lanky bedding plants, aged seeds, unhealthy looking shrubs and disease-ridden perennials.
Be certain that your plant is right for your site. Avoid sun loving plants if shade is an issue – avoid tender plants if the garden is open and susceptible to frosts. Rotation of crops is also important for a lot of vegetables.
Spray to avoid disease:
Fungicides tend to be protectors rather than cures. This means you should spray as soon as the first spots are seen. In some cases (e.g black spot, peach leaf curl) you are required to spray before the disease is seen.
Remove dead plants, rubbish and weeds:
Rotting plants can often be a source of infection, some actually attract pests into your garden. Boxes, old flower pots etc are a breeding ground for slugs and woodlice. Weeds rob plants of food, water, light and space. Hoe them out or pull them out – take care if you use a weedkiller.
Guard against animals:
Use netting to safeguard seedlings, vegetables and soft fruit from birds. A cylinder of wire-netting all around the trunk base is the best way to keep squirrels, rabbits, cats and dogs far away from the bottom of trees.
Always follow the rules of excellent cleanliness under glass:
The humid environment in your greenhouse is a paradise for pests and diseases. Control is often difficult, so again, prevention is better than cure. Use compost or sterilized soil when planting. Ensure the house is adequately ventilated; dry air encourages pests and poor growth, saturated air encourages diseases. Try to avoid sudden fluctuations in temperature; water regularly. Water during the morning, although you can water in the early evening if the weather is warm. Remove dead leaves and plants without delay.
Feeding your plants properly:
Shortages of nutrients often leads to numerous problems, poor growth, undersized blooms, lowered disease resistance and discolored leaves. But take care, overfeeding can cause scorch, and unbalanced feeding with too much nitrogen can lead to lots of leaves and very few flowers.
Prepare the ground painstakingly:
A strong-growing plant is more likely to resist pest or disease attack than a weak specimen. Water-logging as a result of insufficient soil preparation is a basic cause of plant failure in heavy soils. Add a humus maker when digging. Remove perennial weed roots. Add Chlorophos to the soil if pests have gnawed roots in a different place in your garden.