How To Avoid Garden Pests And Diseases - A Gardener's Guide
So you spent a great deal of time planning how to arrange your garden. You planted many varieties and cared for them lovingly. But then something bad started to happen. Pests and diseases came a-calling' and ruined all your much-loved plants.
The key to preventing these from ruining your garden is to catch the problems early. Whilst watering plants always check for damaged leaves, holes or stems that have died. Many problems that you will face can be grouped into three categories
Environment - this is to do with what surrounds the plants and it affecting them
Garden Pests - slugs, snails, flies - there are many kinds of pests that can damage your plants and affect your garden.
Plant Disease - this is one of the most difficult problems you can have in your garden and it's difficult to solve.
Environmental conditions causing plants to die
Common reasons where the environment and placement of your plants can cause damage are as follows.
Your plants are too dry
You can quickly identify this as the older plant leaves will be the ones that are turning a nasty brown color and dying. Younger leaves will be fresh and look okay. Make sure you follow the watering instructions.
Your plants are too wet
If your plants are dying because they are are getting too much water you should be able to tell by looking at the stem. If this is starting to rot then this is a good sign that you need to move them to a drier place or hold back on the watering. Look for brown or white mold on the stem or on the leaves. These two issues don't mean the end of your garden. They are relatively simple to deal with.
The plants are in a spot that is too windy
Wind can damage your plants significantly. Look for torn leaves and broken stems. Move the plants to a different area where there is more shelter and they are less likely to be blown around and damaged.
You might need to put on your investigative hat to identify some other problems that may be causing damage to your plants. It could be that your dog is sitting on the plants or your children are eating the leaves. Stranger things have happened...
Garden pests, bugs, insects and other creatures.
Garden pests can cause you a great number of headaches. They can quickly destroy everything that you have to spend hours nurturing. Here's a list of the most common garden pests and how to stop pests from destroying your garden.
These small insects love to hang out on fruit and vegetables and other plants. They suck the sap from the plant which causes leaves to drop and their feeding can spread diseases. To stop aphids try washing plants with a strong spray f water. You can encourage predators, such as ladybirds. In some cases, hot pepper or garlic spray can repel aphids as well.
These little guys are soft, larvae with six legs at the front and then smaller legs throughout. They love to dwell on fruit, vegetables, and shaded trees. They mainly chew on leaves but do sometimes eat their way inside of fruits. Again you should encourage natural predators to reduce the impact of these garden pests.
Slugs and snails
hese will also eat away at the leaves of your plants. They are especially active at night and will be more apparent in spring when your plants are young. To counter slugs and snails then you can try getting your hands on some organic pellets to stop them from getting near your plants. Alternatives are copper plan surroundings or manually picking them off by hand at night.
Diseases killing and damaging your garden plants
This can be a tricky thing to spot. Make sure you are 100% sure that it's not one of the previously mentioned causes that could be the problem for your plants. Once you have eliminated the above, here are a few common diseases to look out for.
Bacterial infections and viruses
These will show up as a brown or black mark/spot and are causes as the cells ie close to the infected area. Viruses are different as they come from inside of the plant. to identify this look at the veins of your plant. They will be discolored.
To stop the spread of disease in your garden make sure that you remove the leaves or infected plants and remove it completely from the garden. Keep a vigilant watch on the other leaves for similar symptoms. There are some fungicides which can help with these kinds of infections, but the best way to solve this problem is to get rid of the infected plant.