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OUT IN THE GARDEN: Dealing with pests in the garden and greenhouse

By Spalding Today Columnist

Without running the risk of sounding smug, it’s been a pretty good week for me personally. My neighbour has decided to move (not because of me) so that he can be closer to his family. The upshot of this is he has gifted me his old greenhouse.

Several days ago I dismantled it from his garden and re-assembled it in mine. When finished I really wished I had worn gloves as I cut my fingers on the glass panes in places I never knew you could cut. However, I managed to stem the blood loss to live another day.

So for anyone who owns a greenhouse or has just bought a greenhouse it is important to regularly clean and disinfect the space. Before putting plants in mine I gave all the panes, aluminium frame and staging a good scrub with disinfectant to ensure that I was not transferring any diseases into the greenhouse.

Get in the greenhouse. (10217093)
Get in the greenhouse. (10217093)

Greenhouses by their very nature will give plants a warm, humid environment in which to thrive. Conversely, fungus will also thrive because of the closed eco system. To reduce the risk of fungal infections, regularly open the doors to your greenhouse to encourage good airflow.

To combat the build-up of pests in your glass house hang fly traps which are sticky tapes that flying bugs find irresistible. Once they have landed they are then unable to leave.

Neudorff stocked at Baytree has developed a product called Bug and Larvae Killer; it controls a wide range of harmful pests including aphids, whitefly, greenfly, spider mites and thrips. It also acts on the eggs and larvae. The neonicotinoid-free product carries a low risk to bees.

Since we’ve tackled the greenhouse it would be wise to tackle pests in the garden this week also. At this time of the year Leather Jackets and Chafer Grubs will be becoming active, causing damage to your lawn. I’d recommend using Nematodes to treat these infestations. Essentially these little microscopic creatures feed on the pest, controlling their numbers.

The great thing about Nematodes is that they are a totally organic solution. It’s best to apply the treatment to wet grass, so apply on a day after it has rained. Mix the Nematodes into water in a watering can and off you go. The treatment is pet- and child-friendly. Speak to Dean at Baytree about Neudorrf’s range.

Check for possible blackspot and aphid damage to your roses and treat with Rose Clear Ultra. This, in my opinion, really is the best product out there on the market at the moment. It’s not organic but it is effective.

Viburnum Beetle Larvae start nibbling this month and if left uncheck can cause huge damage to you Viburnum plants. The larvae are yellow in colour with small black spot and about 5mm long. You can either pick the larvae of the plant by hand or treat with a pesticide such as BugClear Ultra. Though once the larvae start to pupate there is no point treating as the damage is already done. Another option is to hang fat balls in and around the plant; birds will eat the fat balls and maybe take a few larvae while they are at it.

That’s it for this week; feet up and get that kettle on!


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