Pests and Diseases
As Summer approaches and green vegetation turns into colourful flowers,
pests and diseases become more prominent. Crawling insects such as
ants, slugs, snails, earwigs and soft bodied insects such as spider mites,
aphids, and whiteflies are the most prevalent.
Crawling insects are best controlled with diatomaceous earth. Your
plants will not only benefit from being protected from pests, but the silica
in the diatomaceous earth will also be made available to your plants. Diatomaceous
earth (DE) is composed of microscopic sharp edges that cut into, and penetrate
the exoskeleton of an insect. The tiny cuts cause the insect to lose moisture,
resulting in the insects demise from dehydration within hours of coming
into contact with the pest control powder. Insects that eat the dust will
experience the same end.
Soft bodied insects are best controlled
with natural sprays such as End All II, Ecosense,
Botanics plant spray, pine and neem oil,
and insecticidal soap.
These small insects can show up rather fast and infest your plants as quick
as a few days. Aphids, whiteflies and mites usually appear on the undersides
of the leaves and they can cause damage by puncturing the plant cells
These pests all have egg, larvae, and adult stages that need to be controlled.
Any spray or control used must be used over several generations of the pest.
Many gardeners notice a large reduction of pests after one application
of spray and then neglect to follow up with further applications which will
lead to a resurgence in insect populations. Use sprays early in the
season to prevent infestations.
Alternatives to pesticides like
neem and pine oil are less harmful to plants compared to pyrethrin based sprays
and can actually boost the plants to make them more resistant to diseases.
Neem oil and pine oil have also been found to resist powdery mildew
infections and other diseases such as black spot and rust.
For more advanced mold and fungal diseases use sulphur based sprays.
Nematodes for grub control are effective as long as larvae(grubs)
are present in the soil. Most
grubs hatch as June beetles or Japanese Beetles in late June.
The next window of time to apply nematodes for grub control
is in September and October as long as soil temperatures are above 10 degrees
Celsius. Nematode application
for Leatherjacket or Cranefly control is best done in September.
Clover seed is now available in a 500g size
for $10.00 Clover has a capacity to
fix nitrogen in established lawns.
- contains naturally occurring BT that aids in controlling caterpillars and
other insects that effect trees and shrubs, call for details.
Genesis, a natural soil humic inoculant
A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill
except for learning how to grow in rows.
- Doug Larson