Pests & Diseases Hints & Tips

Pest and Disease Hints and Tips for the Gardener.
• If you need to water your roses, do so first thing in the morning so the rising sun quickly dries the foliage and precludes the spread of the black spot fungus, which spreads by water. If you are reluctant to use chemicals to control black spot and powdery mildew, consider spraying baking soda at a dilution of 2 teaspoons in one gallon of water. This treatment does need re-applying after rain.
• Hoeing the soil immediately after rain will disturb and kill emerging weed seeds.
• Garden birds will love eating many of the pests in your garden. If you find vine weevil, buy a bird table, and place the larvae. Birds will quickly locate and eat them. It is claimed that Blue Tits eat an estimated 50 billion moth caterpillars each year
• Keep your garden tidy and free of debris that may serve as a shelter for slugs or snails during the daylight hours.
• Hang a Lacewing and Ladybug House in your garden. The larvae of these insects are voracious predators and will eat up to 5000 aphids in their short lifetimes. Yarrow, Dill, Angelica, Coriander, Cosmos, Fennel and Dandelion attract Lacewings.
• The larvae of moths and caterpillars can be a pest in the garden, but they are valuable pollinators in their adult form. Plants to attract butterflies: Buddleia, Marjoram, Lavender, Perennial wallflower Plants to attract moths: Jasmine, Evening primrose, Honeysuckle, Sweet rocket and Night scented stock.
• Ground Beetles are voracious predators of slugs and snails. Many are nocturnal and require some sort of shade during the day, such as a log pile or Bug House located close to the ground.
• Adult Hoverflies, while resembling wasps, are harmless insects that feed on nectar and pollen. Their larvae feed on aphids and other garden pests. Plants to attract hoverflies: Yarrow, Alyssum, Dill, Cosmos, Mallow, Poached egg plant, Lemon balm, Potentilla and Marigold. 

How we deal with Pests and Diseases - Integrated Pest Management

Experienced gardeners know the importance of managing common pests and diseases that can damage fruit, herbs, vegetables, and other plants. Here at Ashtead Park, we take the presentation of healthy plants very seriously, and primarily source plants from the best nurseries in the UK.

All our growers practice Integrated Pest Management, which is a long-term strategy focusing on prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. 

Pesticides are used very little and only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines. Treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to both human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and, of course, the environment.

With IPM, you take actions to keep pests from becoming a problem by buying disease resistant plants that are healthy enough to resist pest attacks. Rather than simply eliminating the pests you see right now, IPM means you’ll look at environmental factors that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. Armed with this information, you can create conditions that are unfavourable for the pest.

We take Integrated Pest management very seriously here at Ashtead Park and adhere to a 5-point strategy which can also be used in your own garden.
1.    Identify the pest. Many garden insects can be beneficial. Put up yellow sticky traps or pheromone traps to catch pests for identification.
2.    Monitor its activity. Sometimes a pest will appear and fly off before action needs to be taken.
3.    Determine action thresholds. An action threshold is the point at which further damage is considered intolerable and some kind of control needs to be implemented.
4.    Explore treatment options. Many pests can be satisfactorily controlled without immediately spraying a pesticide.
5.    Evaluate results. Return to step 1.

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