An indispensable reference book for gardeners of all levels of experience with practical advice on how to keep your plants free of disease.
The fifth edition of this definitive publication was eagerly awaited. Although, of course, much remains constant since the last edition in 2009, there will also have been many areas of evolution in the arms race between gardeners and their many foes. Numerous chemical controls will have been banned or superseded, and new problems will have emerged. Who had heard of ash dieback in 2009? This edition is authored once again by those doyens of plant pathology Pippa Greenwood and Andrew Halstead, but presents a thorough revision of the text. For some time Greenwood ran the Plant Pathology Department at RHS Wisley (which deals with thousands of gardeners’ queries nationwide), and has become very well known for her work on Gardeners’ Question Time; Halstead was until recently principal entomologist for the RHS. Therefore, the pair not only have a wealth of scientific knowledge between them, but also a great deal of experience in how that relates to common gardeners’ problems.
The book’s format has changed little since earlier editions. It offers a number of different routes to identifying specific problems – you can start with the photographic gallery, organised by type, or use the extensive A-Z list of actual conditions. Alternatively, all diseases are carefully crossreferenced against lists of plant species – so that you can look up the name of the plant you are concerned about and find a list of problems to which it is subject. The authors offer pragmatic advice on the use of garden chemicals, without judgement. But, the book can also serve as a first point of reference for organic growers, as the authors encourage a balanced approach to pest problems and offer ingenious organic control methods.
PESTS & DISEASES by Pippa Greenwood and Andrew Halstead RHS, £18.99 ISBN 978-0241315606