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PEST control.

Byline: BY TOBY MUSGRAVE The TV Gardener

GARDENERS fight a constant battle with pests and diseases.

Once the problem is identified, there are two main approaches to treatment.

The first is to garden organically, and accept having to live with a bit of damage.

That way, you'll build up a wildlife balance in the garden.

It will deal with insect and other edible pests, and you can use natural products against fungal attacks.

For advice on organic control visit website www.gardenorganic.org.uk.

Secondly, it's possible to spray with man-made pesticides.

But beware. Many are toxic to humans, so it's important to follow all the manufacturer's safety instructions.

Here are some the common complaints:

ROSE BLACKSPOT

Cause and symptoms: Blackspot is a fungal disease most prevalent in wet weather as it is spread by water-splash or wind-blown rain. Black patches appear on the leaves and stems of roses. Leaves fall prematurely.

Non-chemical control: Remove infected and fallen leaves promptly and regularly. Hard-prune infected bushes next spring and burn the prunings.

Chemical control: Spray with penconazole, flutriafol or myclobutanil to control the disease, alternating these with the protectant mancozeb to prevent resistance.

POWDERY MILDEWS

Cause and symptoms: A dry, whitish powder coating leaves, shoot tips and often flowers is especially visible in summer. Other symptoms include stunted and distorted growth, and reduced flowering. On rhododendrons, a pale beige felt appears on the undersides of the leaves with a corresponding yellow area above.

Plants affected: Many garden plants are affected - both woody and herbaceous - particularly apple trees, roses and sweet peas and those growing in hanging baskets. Vegetable foliage is also prone, including beetroot, parsnip and spinach.

Non-chemical treatment: Prune out infected areas as soon as seen. Collect and burn, or otherwise dispose of, all infected debris and prunings.

Chemical treatment: For ornamental plants including roses, but not vegetables, use myclobutanil, penconazole or sulphur. On roses only, use flutriafol. For some fruits, including apple and gooseberry, use bupirimate plus triforine or myclobutanil. Only sulphur may be used on vines. There are no fungicides available for powdery mildew control on most vegetables.

VINE WEEVIL

Cause and symptoms: Adult vine weevils are pear-shaped, dull black beetles. They are responsible for the irregular-shaped notches eaten around leaf edges which is unsightly but not life-threatening. Much more of a problem are their larvae. These are soildwelling, plump, white, legless grubs up to 1cm which appear in the autumn and kill plants by eating their roots.

Plants affected: Many perennials and shrubs.

Non-chemical control: Encourage natural enemies. Vine weevils and their grubs are eaten by birds, frogs, toads, shrews, hedgehogs and predatory ground beetles. For the larvae, use a biological control in August or early September - both on beds and borders, and plants in pots and containers.

Chemical control: For use on ornamental plants in containers only, use imidacloprid on young plants and thiacloprid for established plants.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2007
Words:481
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