Horticultural Gardening Tips/Bug control

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Bugs, slugs, pests and diseases - prevention/treatment tips

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Aphids[edit]

Spray with Pravado/organic bug spray. Coat with bubbles from washing up liquid. Put greenhouse plants outside during summer. Prevention: Good hygiene in greenhouses, get rid of weeds in greenhouse under which aphids survive during winter. Clear outside debris (wood, rubbish, old leaves etc) in which aphids overwinter/lay eggs. Smoke out aphids using barbeque smoke - put barbeque in greenhouse and burn green grass. Grow nasturtiums to attract blackfly away form other plants. Dispose of infested leaves.

Slugs[edit]

Use slug pellets, sand, soot, ashes, crushed egg shells, coffee powder, beer in pots, copper strips/coins, gravel, bark chips, vigilance (search during wet evenings), predators (see link). Avoid putting slug pellets in piles - the metaldehyde actually deters them.

Caterpillars[edit]

Prevention similar to aphids. Derris spray more effective than bug spray. Vigilance: actively hunt for caterpillars and their eggs near/on eaten leaves - particularly on underside of leaves. Pick off caterpillars and dispose. Prevent butterflies laying eggs, using old net curtains, fleece, glass.

Rats[edit]

Poision/traps etc. Keep fertilisers/seed poackets/grass seed boxes well sealed. Keep plots clean - avoid hiding places. Block holes in sheds with expanding foam. Don't leave scaps of food from barbeques. Keep compost bins well closed. Don't put meat into compost bins.

Rabbits[edit]

Lots of chicken wire. Make cyclinders to put around plants, fasten and anchor using bamboo canes. Bury 5cm to prevent animals digging underneath. Corrugated iron sheets. Put fleece on top of carrots/parsnips etc and anchor down firmly. Grow things rabbits don't seem to eat:- potatoes, cape gooseberrys.... Grow things off the ground: trees, window boxes, hanging baskets, in pots, on shed roofs. Cover plants with chicken wire, cold frames, cloches etc. Encourage foxes (and other rabbit predators) to come and leave their scent.

Birds[edit]

Make fruit cage using bamboo canes, empty bottles (put upside down on top of canes to stop net sinking) and large pond netting/net curtains. Lots of scary/noisy things: - windmills, mirrors, foil pie dishes on bits of string, bells, tin cans, coke cans, pairs of saucepans/frying pans, old cds/dvds/unwound video/casette tape, bottles set in ground, fake eagles, scarecrows, cats, dogs, cotton strung out between bamboo canes, Christmas baubles, tinsel, supermarket carrier bags tied but allowed to blow around, old radio left on.

Vandals/thieves/trespassers[edit]

Chalk 'beware of wasps' on shed doors. Attach fake warning signs, eg saying 'dangerous chemical/electrical/nuclear materials' (search for examples using google, print and laminate). Engrave 'stolen from [add your postal code/name/address]...' to tools. Note features of your tools (brand/shape/markings etc) in case you need to identify them if they are stolen and subseuqnelty recovered. Hide tools under plants. Camouflage tools/wheelbarrows etc by painting them the same colour as plants/soil/ etc Plant robust thorny plants - goosebeeries, blackberries, raspberries, roses, berberis etc Leave lots of nettles/brambles/barbed wire around borders/entrances. Deter trespassers and vagrant sleepers by spreading smelly manures - cow/horse/dog/cat etc. Soak nettles in water and spread the foul smelling residue. Avoid providing seating, fixed or mobile - hide seats behind plants when not in use. Opportunist vandals/thieves may be less tempted to aim for a target at the end of long, winding, complicated, overgrown, muddy, flooded paths. Consider locks (locks sometimes re-enforce the notion of 'private - keep out') but bear in mind more damage may be caused by someone forcing entry.