Category Archives: Pest & Disease Control

Articles about the IPC/M approach to controlling Pest and Diseases

10 quick tips on how to look after roses

In part one, I went into detail about how I at RS Gardening Services would go about planting a clients rose.
Here in part 2, I will tell you how to care for roses through the spring to the winter.

How to Care  for  your  roses  in  spring

Spring is when the season starts to get busy .with the first shoots appearing on roses.
If these shoots are left to grow they will make the Rose look very unsightly indeed.

Plus the fact that:-

  • (a) The branches will rub against each other and cause cancerous growth.
  • (b) The center will be overcrowded and thus stop the vital air flow to the plant.
    Leading to an infection of Black Spot and other pathogens to infect the plant.
  • (c) Cause of a large number of branches your roses will only produce small flowers instead of large one.
  • (d) And finally, it weakens the stability of rose itself as it becomes top-heavy

So pruning them right down is essential if you want good healthy roses.

How to prune your roses

When Pruning roses its essential you use a good quality secateurs
I prefer the Bypass ones as they cut cleanly than the others that seem to me anyway to squeeze the stems.
Sharp ones don’t snag the stem and leave a scraggy end.

Bypass  secs

Should  the   stem  be  too  thick  to  cut  with  these  use  the  same  bypass  Loppers  to  and   a  good  tree  saw for  larger   trunks

I always  carry  these  tools  with  me  cause  I  never  know  when  ill  be  needing  them

Loppers       Pruning  saws

There  are  three  things  that  you  should  be  aware off  when  pruning  rose

  • There are three different types of roses, that need to be pruned differently:-
  1. The floribunda like the name suggests “floribunda”  is Latin for Flora-Flowers &  bunda – many ie many flowers.

These  flowers  are  small  but  are  very  vibrant and  only  need  to prune very  lightly    ie  I  usually  prune  these   to  three   buds  from  the  top  just  to  keep  the  shape  as  they  can   become  untidy

Florabunda roses

This  picture  is  an  exception  here  the  rose  has  been  pruned  not  quite  hard  back  but  just  about  the  size  to  get  these   blooms

Remember the harder you prune the less number of flowers you will make.

A process of trial and error is always at play when you prune these roses.  If  its  too  short  this  year  try  pruning  it  a  bit  higher  up  next  year  or  visa  versa

  • (2)  Standards

When pruning standards the first thing is to think of is its shape.

so like the floribunda, a very light pruning is  needed  to  keep  it  symmetry if  its  a  bush  type

With other standards you have to think do I want more or little flowers on the bush. In case of My clients its always bigger and better blooms so a hard pruning like the other varieties are needed.

For normal roses, I prune them quite hard down to two or three out facing buds from the bottom or even down to one out facing bud if its old wood.

The  basic  rule  for  pruning  is  to  keep  to  the  what I call  the  3ds

  • Cut  out  any  dead
  • Diseased
  • Dying  branches    first
  • Then  concentrate  on  the branches  that  are
  • Inward  pointing  to  the  center  of  the  bush   to  improve  ventilation
  • Always  cut  with  a  slant  –  as  the  diagram   shows  bellow  this  helps  water  to  run  off  and  not  rot  the  shoots

Don’t  be  afraid  to  prune  them  quite  hard  they  can withstand  any  harsh  treatment

pruning  cuts


Now that you have pruned your roses they will need a good solid feed to keep them healthy. This is done by a well-decomposed compost around the base of the of the roses. (  I prefer this way as I have experienced in my trials of different products that some fertilizers have a high content of nitrogen which can produce sappy growth.

on the other hand, too much organic matter can lock in nitrates.  so a careful balance is needed.

More details can be found on the following blog  on  mulches    .

If the clients got any handy I prefer to use green waste from the recycle places since they don’t carry any weeds.

But  if  all  that  fails  normal  organic  matter  from  there  compost  heap  mixed  with  a  special  blend  of  J bowers   fish blood  and  bone   fertilizer  or  Vitax Q



When applying a mulch always leave a gap around the stem so you can water around the base of the plant

Autumnal  Rose Care

Their  Show  might  be  over  but  like  one  rosarian  ounce  said

If you give your roses some care during autumn, they will get safely through the winter, coming back healthy, vigorous and full of flowers next year.

So  here  is  how  IDogardening4U  looks  after  your  roses


  •  I  will  dead  them  (  Sometimes  leaving  the  hips  on  depending  on  the  clients  choice  )  So  that  though  they  have  finished  flowering  the  hips  will  add  that  splash  of  colour  to  what  could  be  a  dull  wet  day



  • I  will  pick  off  all  the dead, diseased  foliage on  the  plant  and  around  the  base  of  plants  as it  can  be  splashed  back  on  to  the  plant  when  it  rains



  • I will prune out all  the  dead, diseased and  dying  stems  on  the  bushes  with  a  clean  cut  secateurs



Due to the heavy winds, we get in August to March it is advisable to do a light prune of large leggy branches that will get knocked about.

This may  or  not  leave your  hips  intact


Finally  Ill will  thin  out  the  heads  of  crowns   on  your  standard  roses  as  the  wind  will  in case  cause  them  damage


Winter  Pruning

The only purpose for winter pruning is to reduce the wind rock on the rose and remove any dead, diseased and dying branches.

So ideally the rose should be only cut down by half to outward facing bud.

And with anything else, all branches should be burnt in an incinerator to avoid recontamination of the soil. AS  its  this  time  of  year  when  the  weather  damp  that  Black  Spot  spores  begin  to  spread

I hope  you  found  this  of  good  use   and  informative  in  part  3    Ill  will  look  into    Pest  and  Disease  control  of  Roses .

Please  share  this  Blog  with  others  and  subscribe  below


How to care for your roses

PicMonkey Collage (1)

 Part 1


In my line of work, I often get asked for help by my many of clients on the correct way to look after their roses.

Especially if their roses are under the weather are suddenly dying on them,

Hence I decided to write this blog on how to look after your roses from planting to pruning.


There  are  several  things  you  should  look  out  for  when  purchasing  a  rose  bush ( the  ideal  time  to  plant  a  rose  is  from  Oct  to  Dec  –  This  because  the  plants  in  its  dormant  stage and  all  the  energy  is  back  into  the  roots  )

  • Is  it  disease  resistant  (  well  for  two  or  more  years  any  way  )  No  roses  are  immune  to  Black  Spot  –  which  is  a  fungal  spore  by  the  way
  • Where  is  it  to  be  planted  – ie  All  roses  crave  sunlight
  • How  is  it  package  –  Many  high  street  chains  package  them  badly  and  ending  up  in    hurting  the  roses  esp  when  they  are  bound  together  with  tape
  • Is  the  Plant  damage   ie  damage  stems  can  often  kill  the  roses   by  allowing  stem  canker  to  thrive
  • Where  do want  to  plant the  roses :-
    (a)  Avoid  planting  in  shady  areas
    (B) Avoid intense competition from other plantsAvoid planting in winter sites

Before  you  do  any thing  to  the  rose   plant  the  loose  roots  or  root  ball  in  a  bucket  water.

  • This  helps  the  roots  to  absorb   water  quickly

Also  helps  to  loosen  the  solid  root  ball   to  allowing  the  tiny  lateral  roots  to  spread  out

Also  this  trick  works  well  with  root  bound  plants

Whilst  you  are  doing  that  it  time  to  prep  the  ground

What  I  do  is

  • Gently fork over the soil first to remove any builders rubble or stones dar-129
  • Get  my  mixture  of  well  rotted  manure  and  Bone  meal    ready  in  wheel  barrow
  • I  then  start  to  dig  the  a  hole  a  spit  wide  and  a  spit  deep
  • dar-103
  • Then  with  a  scraper  I  just  loosen  the  edges  in  the  hole  which  would  have  been  made  compacted  by  the  digging
  • Incorporate  my  mix  into  the  base   and  fork  it  then  ensures  that  all  the  soil  microbes  in  the  soil  rot  the  manure  down  and release it  to  he  plant  evenly
  • dar-107
  • If  a  stake  is  needed  I  hammer  that  in  first   to  avoid  damaging  the  roots
  • I  then  fill  in  the  hole  with  rain  water  or  tap  water  to  the  top  and  wait for  it  to  soak  in

With  the  Prep  out  the  way  I  then  plant  the  Rose  bush  in  the  hole  making  sure  that  the  soil  level  on  the   rose  is  level  with  the  soil  this  is  because

    • If   its  above  the  soil  line  it  will  produce  suckers


  • planting  a  roseThen  when  I  have  the  level  just  right  I  start  to  back  fill  the   hole  and  shaking  the  bush  to  distribute  the  soil  among  the  root
  • And  then  with  my  heel  or  spade  i  then  compact  it the top soil  down
  • And  finally  give  the  rose  a  good  soaking

The  Next  Stage


In  my  travels  I  have  witness  many  bad  ways  of  staking  a  tree    from  string  to  copper  wire  although  these  are  very  cheap  they  also  can  be  harmful  to  Roses  as  the  stems  expand  and  surround  the  tie  as it  n  slowly  begins  to  cut  through  the  stem .

The  proper  way  is  to  use  a  proper  tree  tie  and  spacer and  not  to  tie  the   stake  to  the  bush  but   the  bush  to  stake

As  Shown  here

Rose  with  stakes

Finally    I  then  add   layer  of  bark  chips  to  give   the  plant  with  that  extra  adding   protection against  blackspot  which  could  splash  up  from  the  surface and  also  give  the  plant  with  the  added  micro  fauna  to  promote  healthy  growth

Bark  Chips

I  Do  hope  you  enjoyed  this  Blog    and  Subsribe  for  updates  or  My  News  letter   Part  two  and  three  are    coming  shortly

Chemical Management

English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure.

English: A sign warning about pesticide exposure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Health and  Saftey  Warning

User habits surveys for 2007 and 2010 indicate that gardeners don’t always use, store and dispose of pesticides correctly. If you use pesticides, you are responsible for using these chemicals correctly and effectively. We must keep our gardens and allotments safe for children, pets and wildlife.


When I  was  working  for  Lambeth Council  back  in 1980  all  the  employers  had  to  pass  a  strict  pesticide course  lasting  a  year  this  was  a  tough  course    but  it  made  you  aware  of  the  dangers  of  the  product  and  how  to  safety  apply  it.

But  looking  on  the  prospective  of  the  member  of  the  public  these  rules  no  longer  apply  as most  products  you  buy  claim  to  safe  to  the  environment if  you  follow  the  instructions  to  letter

But  with  this  scare  of  slugs  pellets  and  weed  killer  getting  into  our  water  I  don’t  think  the  news  is  getting  across

So  I’ll tell  you  how  to  apply  herbicides  or  pesticides  safely

  • Read  the  Label  (  I  know  it  obvious  &  that  you  think  you  know  it  all  but  you  don’t)  How  many  of  you  put  weed killer  down   then double  dose  the  plant  again . This  is  all  wrong  the  formulation  is  worked  out  in  the  lab.  for  maximum  effect  and    by  double  dosing  you  are  probably  increasing  the  salinity  of  the  soil.
    description of  pesticide  label

    description of pesticide label


  • Calibrate  –  What  I  do if  using  a  sprayer is to  fill  up  the  water  with  water  and  go  over  the  plant   or   ground  first   making  sure  that  plant  is  soaked  ie  beginning dripping  or  that  ground   is  covered  with  spray .

I  then  see  how  much  water  i  used  and  then  do  a  simple  division  to  find  out  how  much  chemical  i  actually  use  use all  the  instructions  say  4 cap  full  to   1 litre  or  1  gallon  of  water

  • When  using  any  chemical  always  use  PVC  gloves   these  are  cheap  and  better  than  latex  gloves  that  can  rip  and  allow   the  chemical  to  get  in  touch  with  your  skin
Red  Pvc  gloves

Red Pvc gloves

Note  the  tight  cuffs  around  the  wrist  this  makes  sure  that  nn  drips  get  on  to  your  hands

  • When    mixing  the  chemical  put  in  the   some  water  first    then  add your  chemical ( Some  products  have  it  all  ready  made  up  if  so  skip this  )  and  keep  on  stirring  it  until  it  dissolves then  top  up with  the  rest  of  water  mixing  it  again .By  doing  this   you  have dissolved  and  mixed  up  all  the  chemicals
  • If  the there  a  slight  breeze  or  wind  blowing  either  wear  a  mask  or  try  not  to  spray  into  the  wind .(  Note  chemical  spray  can  carry  in  the  wind  for  miles  without  you  knowing  and  with  out  a  mask  you  likely  to  get  some  on  your  mouth   )
  • Although  there  are  organic  or  biodegradable products  that  claim there  are  safe  I  always  veer on  the  side  of  caution

How  to  calibrate  your  sprayer 

The single most asked question in pesticide application is: “How much do I put in a knapsack?”

The answer is that it depends on the calibration of your sprayer. In short, how many square metres one sprayer full of water + pesticide will cover.

It is important that the correct amount of pesticide is applied per square metre, the amount of water much less so.

An  Professional Knapsack sprayer

An Professional Knapsack sprayer

As every sprayer has a different capacity, different nozzles with higher or lower output, a different operator who works at a different speed and pumps at a higher or lower pressure, calibration is the only answer. Here is one simple way to do it:

1. Measure exactly one litre of water into an empty sprayer and prepare it for spraying.

2. On a dry hard surface where you can see the spray wet it, walk forward, continually spraying as you would normally operate until the sprayer is empty. Measure how many square metres you have covered. Let us assume that this might be for instance, 20 square metres.

3. If your sprayer is a 15 litre model you multiply its normal capacity (15) x 20 (area one litre covered) = 300 square metres. This is the area that a whole knapsack will treat.

4. To work out how much pesticide to measure into the sprayer is now very easy. Look at the application rate on the product label.

eg. Roundup ProBiactive is 5L (=5,000ml) per Hectare (10,000 sq. metres)

5. To calculate how much to measure into your sprayer:

For example: 300 (Area that one sprayer full will cover) x 5,000 (Pesticide application rate per hectare in millilitres) / 10,000 (One hectare in square metres) = 150 millilitres

amateur sprayer

Start  your  spraying

  1. Working  up  and  down  the  plant   making  sure  that  both  surfaces  of  the  leaves  are  well  coated  and  started  to  drip
  • Always  spray  first  thing  in  the  morning  this  is done for several reasons ;-
  •   to  avoid  any  harm  to  the  pollinating  insects
  • and  also  the  leaves    spores  will  be  fully  opened
  • The  plant  has  time  to  recover   after  the  spray    and  the  leaves  will  be  dry
  1. Avoid  spraying  any  chemicals  near  water

For  Weed  Killer   there  is  one  simple  rule  DO NOT  SPRAY  NEAR  WATER  SURFACES

If  you  miscalculated  and  still  have  some  chemical  left  NEVER  EMPTY  IT  DOWN  THE  DRAIN

Storing  Chemicals 

  • After you have used a pesticide, make sure that the packaging is tightly closed or sealed to avoid spillage.
  • Store pesticides in a safe place, out of reach of children and pets.
  • Take particular care to store slug pellets safely to avoid accidental poisoning of children and pets – particularly dogs.
  • Garden sheds and greenhouses are not ideal for storing pesticides as they can get very hot in summer or cold in winter. Pesticide products are best stored at an even temperature.
  • If you store it carefully, any remaining pesticide will be effective for some years to come. You can check whether it is still legal to use by using  there  database

Concentrated pesticides that have been diluted and stored may not work as well when you next use them. It is also illegal to store pesticides that are unlabelled and not in their original container for safety reasons. Remember to only dilute enough for that day’s use.

Disposing  of  Chemicals

  • Whether you’ve diluted it or not, never pour pesticides down a drain or any other water drainage system (e.g. sink or toilet) because of the risk of contaminating water and harming wildlife. You could face prosecution.
  • Pesticide containers that have held concentrated product (i.e. requiring dilution before use) should be rinsed three times adding the washings to the final spray solution. The empty container can then be placed in household waste.
  • Empty pesticide containers that have held Ready-to-Use product (i.e. trigger sprays) can be disposed of directly into your household waste.
  • Other empty pesticide containers e.g. bags and cardboard boxes can also be disposed of in your household waste.
  • Check the label for any other advice on disposal of the product or empty container.

Powdery Mildew

Identification and  damage


Powdery Mildew on a Rosa species .

As you  can see Mildew  comes  in  a white powdery  mycelia and spore growth that forms on leaf surfaces and shoots and sometimes on flowers and fruits.These  are  the  fruiting of  the  fungus.

It  can  severely  effect  woody  plants  as  young  sapping which  would  dwarfed.


Downey Mildew  thrive  in  temperatures ranging  from  50 to  60  degrees  wuth  humidity  of  90%

It  can  be  recognized  by  only  being  specific  to  the  leaves  &  not  like  its  other  relation Powdery  Mildew  which  effect  the  stalks  as  well.

And  require  the  opposite it  needs  free  water  and  temperatures  ranging  from

60 -80  degrees  to  germinate.


Prevention  is  the  only  way  with  this  I’m  afraid  :-

  • Make  sure  that  the  air  is  well  circulated  either  out  doors  or  inside
  • water  the  plant  in  the  morning  and  in  the  evening  if  necessary.
  • apply  fungicide  at  the  first  sign  of  attack   and  remove  and  dispose of  infected  leaves
  • As  it  wind  blown  and  dependent  on  climate  make  sure  that  the  plant  is planted  in  the  right  environment &  that  there  isn’t  any  other  plant  that  is  infected  with  it  near  by .
  • Plant a  species  that  is  immune  to  it  if  possible for  example  Rosa  rogusa  or  aImage


    Rosa Rugosa alba

Cultural Practises

As  Mildew  seem  to  thrive  in  shady   moderate  temperatures ( esp Powdery Mildew)  place  plants  in a sunny  area  with  good  circulation

Avoid  over  feeding  the  plants  with  fertilizer  as  this  will  make  sappy  growth .giving  the  plant  an  over  head  watering  will  wash  of  the  spores  and   kill  them  in  the  soil

Fungicides  applications  

In  severe  cases  when  roses  and  other  woody  plants  are  infected  spraying  with  fungicide  will  be  the  only  alternative.

These  are  classified  as  :-

  • Preventive
  • Eradicator


These  fungicides  are  applied  to  new  growth  before  mildew  has  a  chance  to  get  a  foot  hold.

These  include :-

  • Horticultural  oils  like  neem,jojoba (read  My  article  on  neem  oil  )
  • Powders  like  sulphur , potasium  bicarbonate
  • and  Biological    with  serenade

For Mild to  heavy  infestation  spray  with  the  plants  natural  product  ie  Neem  oil. Becareful  never  to  apply  a  oil   spray  within  2  weeks  of  sulphur  spray  or  it  will  burn  the  leaves.

Also  never  apply  oil  sprays  when  the  temperature  has  reached  90  degrees 



An Organic Sulphur Spray

Copper fungicide

An H&S approved copper fungicide

Sulphur  sprays  have  been  used  for  centuries  and  rather  ironic   that  in  the  days  of  the  smug  plant  diseases   never  appeared  cause  the  sulphur  was  believed  to  keep  it  at  bay

The  best  sulphur  to  buy  are  the  wettable  kind  cause  the  dust  can  be  toxic  to  humans

Copper  Formulations

Although  copper  has  been  used  for ages  as  an  effective  fungicide  when  it  mixed  with  a  another  formulation  like lime it acts a bactericidal thus  killing  off leaf  spot  and  fireblight


Vitax Bordeaux Mixture
(Disolve in Water and use a spray)
Contains Tetra-copper Tricalcium Sulphate

Vitax Bordeaux Mixture should be mixed with water and then applied, without drenching, as a fine spray to both sides of affected foliage.  The actual dilution rates vary from plant to plant and full instructions are provided on the product label.



Contrary  to the  myth  Sodium  Bicarbonate    found  in  Baking  Soda  actually  restricts   fungus  growth  due  to  its  alkalinity &  there  fore  only  useful  as  a  preventive measure.

Also available to licensed applicators only is a fungicide containing potassium bicarbonate (e.g., Kaligreen).

Sprays of potassium bicarbonate can injure the plant, so use these products with caution.overuse should be avoided because of possible negative effects (sodium accumulation and alkaline pH) on the soil

Biological Fungicides

5878321_2 Biological fungicides (e.g., Serenade or UK  Myclobutanil ) are commercially available beneficial microorganisms formulated into a product that, when sprayed on the plant, destroys fungal pathogens. The active ingredient in Serenade is a bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, that helps prevent the powdery mildew from infecting the plant.

Myclobutanil is a triazole chemical used as a fungicide. It is a steroid demethylation inhibitor, specifically inhibiting ergosterol biosynthesis. Ergosterol is a critical component of fungal cell membranes.

These products have some effect in killing the powdery mildew organism but are not as effective as the oils or sulphur in controlling it.

Disease Control

A potato plant infected with Phytophthora infe...

A potato plant infected with Phytophthora infestans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With disease control I always apply  the  same  IPC (Identify Prevention Control  or  Management ) approach  that  I  use  on  pest  control.This leaves no  margin of  error and  the  problem  can  be  eradicated  or  at  least  controlled.

There are over at  least 100 diseases a  plant  gets  most  of  them  are caused  by  fungal  infection  black spot  on  roses, Tomato Blight,Peach leaf  curl  & powdery  mildew.

The  diseases  on  turf are  less  problematic


I will  first  deal  with  the  diseases of  vegetables


  • The  two  most  common  ones  are  Brown  spot
  • And  Blight  (early  Blight  and  Autumn)

Brown Spot

ImageHere  you  can  see  clearly  that  its  only  the  bottom  of  the  tomatoes  that  are  infected. The  blackish brown  indentation.

The  Good  new  is  that it  does  not  spread  in  the  field  or in transit  meaning  that  it  a  disease  to  that  particular  plant


In  this  case  prevention  is  better  than  cure  as  this  disease  can not  be  eradicated  by  commercial  or  organic  fungicides

  • The  cause  of  this  disease  is  the  lack  of Calcium  or  magnesium  in  the  soil
  • The  first  signs  of  this  deficiency  is  the  sickly  anaemic   look  on  the  plant  the leaves  go  a  slight  tinge  of  yellow  and  the  plants  rather  sick.

 This  caused  by  either  heavy  clay  soils  or  bad  drainage  where  the  roots  can  get hold  of  the  magnesium or calcium   in  the  soil

If  this  left  unchecked  then  your  plant  will  definitely  get  Blossom End  Rot.

Greenhouse tomato magnesium deficiency3F

  • With  recent  research  into organic  movement.Scientist  now  believe  that  to  help  the  plant  fight  of   disease an  application  of  asprin  will  do  the trick.            Although  this  seems  to  far  fetched. They  believe  that  the  chemical  pound a salicylic acid.( Salicylic acid is a monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. This colourless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is derived from the metabolism of salicin) found  in  aspirin  will stimulate  the  plant  immune  system  so  its  ready  to  fight  back .
  • Making  note  of  the  right  environment  for  the  plant   is  the  soil  too  acidic  ,is  it  in  a  well  exposed  place  where  it  gets  full  days  sun. or  does  it  require  a  shady  spot
  •  Pest  are  there  aphids  around  – these  can  transmit  diseases  to  the  plant  by   sucking  the  sap

unfortunately  there  is  no  cure  for  blossom End Rot  the  plant  is  best  disposed  off


There  are  two types  of  blight  that  effect  the  tomatoes  one  appears  in  early  Autumn   and  the  other  one  in  Late  Autumn

Late blight

IdentificationLate blight on  stems  

  • Sign 1

As  you  can  see by  this  picture the  first tell tale signs or on  the  stems.

This  pathogen can  effect  young  plants  too.So your  best  defence  is  spot  it  early

  • Before  it  reaches  the   leaves  and  then  makes  it  way  toward  the  fruit . Then  the  plant  is  beyond  help and  best  destroyed (not  composted)


  • In  this  picture  you  can  see how  it  working  it  away  up  the  stem  to  the  fruit

Even   when  you  think  that  your  plants  safe  it  can  still  effect  ripening  fruit  and  in  no  matter  of  time  the  fruit  will  become inedible.


Sign 2

      •   As you  can  see  by  this  picture  that  the  first  thing  it  attacks  is the  leaves.

      Should  any  of  the  leaves  start  looking  like  that  its  best  to  destroy  the plant.Before  it  starts  to  infect  from  the rest  of  the  crop

      • prevention

      Since the  tomato  is related  to  the  potato family  its  very  liable  to  get  this  blight  and  ounce  its  air  Bourne  there  is  nothing  you  can  do  stop  it  effecting  the  plants

      But  there  are  cautionary  measures  you  can  take  to  give your  plant  a  chance  to fight  it

      • Hygiene I  can’t  amplify this  enough  as  with  Black  spot this  is  important  ;-
      1. If  growing  in  pots  make  sure  everything  is  cleaned  and  disinfected  first  or  use  new  plastic  pots.
      2. Use  Grow bags  compost  for  tomatoes  not  only  they  are  ideal   growing medium  but  there  cheap  too as  well  sterile
      3. As  with  Blossom End  Rot  or  BER    feed  with  a  fine  spray  of  Asprin Mix  and  also  water  into  the  soil
      4. To  stop  splash  back  and  reserve  water    apply  a  mulch  around   the  plant   and  pick  off  any  fallen  leaves
      5. Make  sure  that your    any  diseased  potatoes   are   disposed  off  and  the  soil  is  clean
      6. Choose  a  resistant  plant  species  esp  if  growing  potatoes
      7. Careful watering  try  not to  water  over  the  leaves  as  this  may  cause  the  fungus  spores  to  spread to  other  parts  of  the  plant
      • Management    at  the  first  sign  of  the  seedling  spray  with  Bordeaux mixture  or  there  alternatives
      1. Environmental  control  this  method  is  used  here  in  the  UK  where  the  farmer  keep  an  eye  on  the  weather  and  as  soon  as  the   Min temperature  reaches   50 degrees  and  the  humidity  is  at  90 %  then  he  will  spray  the  crop  to  stop  the  epidemic

      Unfortunately  ounce  the  plant  is  infected  there  is  no  cure

    • Black Spot
    • IdentificationBlack spot  on  rosesWhen  you  see  black  spot  what  you  are  really  seeing  are  the  fungal  spores  ie  Mushrooms of  the  fungus  known  as  Diplocarpon rosae.Unfortunately  this  fungi   is  resilent and   very  quickly  becomes  immune  to  anything  so  its  very  hard  to  eradicate .

      As  you  can  see  from  above  the  leaves  become  a  yellow  and  black  spotted  hence  it  name

    • A proper pruning  and  after  care  will  minimize  the  risk  of  reinfection  :-
  1. When  pruning  roses  always  cut  away  from  the  bud  in  a  slope  this  makes sure  that  any  fungus  spores  or  other  contaminates  will  run  off  and  not  go  into  the plant.
  2. Follow  the   three Ds  system  of  pruning  first  cutting  away  any  Dead  Diseased  and  Dieing  stems  and  throwing  them  away  with  the  rubbish
  3. keep  the  centre  clean  to  allow  better  air  circulation  around  the  plant  keeping  it  dry  (fungus  thrive  in  wet  conditions)
  4. In  April prune  to  the  first  out pointing  bud
  •  If  the  roses  have  any  aphids  then  spray  with  insecticide  for  full  details  on  which  insecticide  is  best   as  they  can  transmit  viruses    and  wound  the  plant
  • Buy  new roses  – But   don’t  plant  roses  in  the  same  spot  as  the  old  ones  cause  they  wont  live  long. For  some  reason  the  old  root  system  of  the  roses  send  out  a  chemical  warning  to  other  roses  saying  you  are  not  welcome  here  ie  a  Rose  transplant  disease . Also dont be disappointed after a yr or two that your roses have got that blight again .Cause as I said before this is most antiviral disease it soon gets immune to anything you throw at it
  • Use  a  fungicide  esp  for  roses  if  you  can  use  the  one  with  a  insecticide  included  these  will  at  least   protect  the  your  shoots  as  they  grow
  • After  pruning  give  them  a  good  feed  of  organic  matter  to   help  them  fight  this  fungus    or  give  them  some  pelleted  feed  esp  designed  for  roses  as  this  contains  traces  of  sulphur which  help  the  immune  system

Red Lilly Beetle


Now  the  warm  weather  here  and  our  lilies  are  starting  to  flower   or  at  least  start  growing  so  comes  one of  the  annoying  pest  to  the  gardener . The Red Lilly  beetle

Lily beetleIdentified  by  it  shiny  leather  red  back and  long  antenna these  are  the  most  voracious eaters  of  the  lily  plants    they  and  their larvae  can  strip  a  whole  plant  in  a  day

Lily Beetle Larvae

These horrible  things  is  what  the  larvae  looks  like. They  cover themselves  up  with  excreta  so  they  wont  get  any  predators  and  they  feast  on   the  leaves   until  they fall  to  the  ground  where  they  bury  themselves  in  the  ground  until  they  pupate

into  the  beetle  again  its  a  vicious  circle   they  can  grow  in  size  and  produce  multiple  generation


Cultural Prevention

  • Since  the  larvae  live  in  the  earth   it’s  always  best  to  get  fresh   sterilized  soil   ie  peat  or  Coir  ( garden  earth  may  contain  the  larvae  at  least  starting  with  a  new  compost  and  pots  you  know  that  there  wont  be  a  chance  of  contamination  )

Cultural Control

  • Place  a white  paper  to towel on  the  compost  and  around  the plant
  •   pick  them  off  with  rubber  gloves.   But  their  young  are  well  camouflaged,  and  if  you should knock  them  off  then  they  have  a  cunning  way  of  laying  on  their  backs,  and  creeping  up  again  when  you  gone . hence  the  white  towel  which  make  them  easily  seen
  • then  when  your  sure  you  have  them  all  dispose  of  them  in  a  solution  of  soapy  water
  • another  trick  is  to  get  a  sticky  board   and  go  over  the  plant   this  should  catch  the  beetles  as  they  try to  take  flight    rather  like  the  white fly  traps

Organic  Approach

If  this  is  applied  dry  and  incorporated  into  the  soil   it  should   provide  a  good  barrier  against  anything  that  comes  across  it

kills larvae and repels adults. Neem is most effective on first instars
larvae; it must be applied every five to seven days after egg hatch. The
insecticide imidacloprid also provides effective control. It is
available in several formulations from Bayer including folia sprays,
soil drenches, and fertilizer stakes.”

  • Masking   the  scent

It  has  been  proved  that  they  are  attracted  by  the  smell  of  the  plant   so  though still  in  it  early  stage  of  development   this  and  introducing  the  parasitic wasp  might  be  way  forward