Expert Kris Collins shares his tips for dealing with garden pests.
It’s best to nip potential problems in the bud before they take hold.
A big part of this comes down to good garden hygiene.
Fallen leaves, spent flowers and general mess can lead to all kinds of pests and diseases. Keep things tidy and problems should be few and far between!
Most gardeners encourage birds into the garden, but they can be a nuisance for vegetable and fruit growers.
Many birds will try their luck with your soft fruit crops, and pigeons can be a particular pain, also attacking leafy brassica crops.
Control: Where feasible use netting to protect cabbages, broccoli, strawberries, raspberries and currants – even small fruit trees can be netted. Hang shiny objects (old CDs etc) in larger trees to scare them off, or try a scarecrow!
These little nasties can be a problem in container displays and are often brought into the garden on new plants.
Always check plants at the garden centre. Don’t be afraid of removing plants from their pots to check for grubs in the roots. Adult vine weevils eat away at foliage growth while the grubs attack at the roots.
Control: Pick off adults by hand or spray with Scotts BugClear Ultra Vine Weevil Killer. Apply nematodes to pot compost to tackle grubs, or wash all compost from roots and re-pot.
Many rose varieties succumb to black spot, which mottles the leaves and causes yellowing and early leaf fall.
Control: The trick is to start with resistant varieties, but where it does take hold, this fungus can be controlled with Vitax Rosegarde. Alternatively, remove infected foliage, but never compost these leaves as this will spread the problem around the garden.
Look out for part two of Kris’s advice on garden pests tomorrow, or get more great tips from our Gardening pages.