Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - WITH DEBBI GIB­SON, HOR­TI­CUL­TUR­AL­IST

WITH the lush new spring growth, con­di­tions are ripe for pests and dis­eases to move into your gar­den.

So to pre­vent or re­duce im­pact, take con­trol now to pro­tect your gar­den plants.

Newly planted seedlings are a favourite for snails and slugs who can de­vour the lot overnight.

Pro­tect them by mulching with lucerne hay or cre­at­ing a bar­rier around them with copper tape, or sprin­kling with saw­dust, crushed egg shells or wood ash.

Get some ducks, a very nat­u­ral snail and slug con­trol method, or put a shal­low saucer of beer in the gar­den overnight to at­tract and drown them.

Go search­ing un­der leaves and re­move them by hand.

If us­ing snail baits, use a pet friendly va­ri­ety and use spar­ingly ac­cord­ing to di­rec­tions.

Pro­tect ripen­ing fruit and veg­eta­bles from fruit fly by us­ing baits and traps tar­get­ing males and then fe­males.

Cera Trap, Eco-Lure, Eco-Nat­u­ralure and Na­ture’s Way Fruit Fly Con­trol can be used as part of a con­trol and preven­tion pro­gram.

Talk to your lo­cal nurs­ery staff for the best meth­ods for your gar­den. Mon­i­tor the traps reg­u­larly.

Prac­tice good gar­den hy­giene by clean­ing up any fallen or in­fested fruit reg­u­larly and tie in a plas­tic bag, leave in the sun for a few days then bin it.

Ex­clu­sion prod­ucts like net­ting, sim­i­lar to mos­quito net­ting or in­di­vid­ual waxed pa­per or fab­ric bags are an al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion.

The net­ting can be draped over en­tire plants or gar­den beds.

Ex­clu­sion bags cover sin­gle or small clus­ters of fruit.

To con­trol chew­ing cater­pil­lars and grubs, the lar­vae of the cab­bage white but­ter­fly and the cab­bage moth, use Dipel, an or­ganic prod­uct.

To con­trol aphids, bee­tles, cut­worms, mites, scale and thrips use an oil spray to suf­fo­cate the pest.

Spray all over the leaves, in­clud­ing the un­der­side and stems.

Aza­lea Lace Bug cause un­sightly dam­age on the fo­liage of aza­leas.

Place Con­fi­dor tablets around the roots of aza­leas for long term pro­tec­tion or spray the fo­liage monthly dur­ing spring with Con­fi­dor or Max­guard.

Fer­tilise and wa­ter reg­u­larly to keep your plants in peak con­di­tion and more re­silient to pests and dis­eases.

Happy gar­den­ing.

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