In­sect dam­age in the gar­den

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with Mandi McDon­ald GAR­DEN­ING SPE­CIAL­IST

HELLO read­ers! I hope you are all busy gar­den­ing with this beau­ti­ful weather we are hav­ing. We have been lucky to get a lit­tle bit of rain to keep things grow­ing. A prob­lem I have been asked about a lot lately is curly leaves on plum trees. This is of­ten mis­taken for the fun­gal dis­ease leaf curl. It is ac­tu­ally in­sects at­tack­ing the tree. If you have this prob­lem and look closely at the af­fected leaves you will see that the in­side is rid­dled with aphid and thrip. Both of these are suck­ing in­sects. They are lit­er­ally suck­ing the life out of the leaf caus­ing de­formed and stunted fo­liage. The good news is this prob­lem is eas­ily con­trolled. You can spray with an in­sec­ti­cide or use an or­ganic op­tion if you pre­fer. As most of the leaves will al­ready be af­fected it may seem like it is too late but the dam­aged leaves will shed and new growth will ap­pear - this is what you are pro­tect­ing by spray­ing. Next year if you spray the new growth as it is just ap­pear­ing you will have a lot less dam­age. Fruit fly is a hot topic at this time of the year. I have re­cently at­tended a fruit fly in­for­ma­tion evening run by land­care.

If you get the op­por­tu­nity to go do, it was very in­for­ma­tive. It is ab­so­lutely time to be putting out your lures - this is purely an in­di­ca­tion of whether or not you have fruit fly ac­tiv­ity in your gar­den. I have been ad­vised that the fe­male fruit fly lays eggs in the fruit/ vegeta­bles around six weeks prior to nor­mal ripen­ing so make sure you have your pro­tec­tion in place prior to this. Again come and have a chat at the nurs­ery. If we are all do­ing our bit to help the fruit fly prob­lem, we can keep en­joy­ing our homegrown pro­duce. Happy gar­den­ing.

DAM­AGE: A plum tree af­fected by in­sects.

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