Natural pest control
Chemicals aren’t the only way tackle pests, says Ruth
SUMMERTIME, and the living is easy if you are a garden pest, merrily chomping your way through new plant growth.
It is a constant battle to keep plants healthy and pest-free, but it can be won by consistent plant care and paying attention to what’s going on out there.
I prefer to avoid chemical sprays, instead using careful husbandry and harnessing the power of natural predators (including birds, hedgehogs, ground beetles and hoverflies) to keep plants strong.
On the rare occasions I do use chemicals I use organic sprays, such as the widely available Neudorff Bug Free or Vitax Plant Guard.
I also use some of the newly released plant invigorators, including rose and buxus sprays made by Westland and GroGreen. These supplement the feeding and watering regimes, and help keep plants robust and more able to fight off problems. Regular weeding is also important as it not only keeps borders tidy, but also removes hiding places where pests like to lurk.
If you do prefer to use synthetic chemicals, such as Resolva Bug Killer or Provanto Ultimate, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Don’t spray plants indiscriminately and never use them on a windy day as the poison will be blown around the garden and will kill pollinators, which are