How to Rid Your Garden of Pests and Diseases
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
You don’t need to be an expert on pests, diseases and weeds to have a clean, healthy garden which will grow top-quality flowers, fruit and vegetables. Effective and relatively low-toxic sprays and dust are available to control most pests and diseases and eradicate the majority of weeds.
Identify the cause of the problem.
It’s important to know the normal, healthy appearance of plants so that problems caused by pests or diseases can be detected quickly. Early recognition of a problem gives you a good start in overcoming it. But it’s not always a pest or disease which makes a plant unhealthy.
- Inadequate watering may be the cause. If you allow the soil to dry out to a depth of 5-10cm below the surface, subsequent light watering, however frequent, will not let the water soak in to reach plant roots. The best way to overcome this is to water thoroughly for several hours until the soil is evenly moist throughout its depth.
- Overwatering and bad drainage can also be the cause of unhealthy plants, especially in the case of trees and shrubs.
- Overly wet conditions can impair root efficiency by preventing air (for respiration) from reaching them.
- Low levels of nutrients or lack of fertiliser, and in some cases a deficiency of trace elements, may be the cause of poor growth. But soil analysis is complicated and doesn’t always give a cut-and-dried answer to the problem of unhealthy plants.
The simplest strategy is to use a mixed fertiliser which contains the major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) plus animal manure, if available or compost. However, never use fertilisers in excess of the quantities recommended.
Know how to use garden chemicals.
There is a wide range of chemicals available for ridding the garden of pests and diseases. Some of these are specific in their action, while others are broad-spectrum chemicals and will control more than one pest or disease. Multi-purpose sprays are available, which contain one or more sprays are recommended, especially when there is some doubt as to the cause of the problem.
Whatever garden chemicals you use, it’s important to stress that you should use them with care. Fortunately, chemical manufacturers have discarded many of the most toxic insecticides for garden use. Most garden chemicals can be used with perfect safety if directions are followed and simple precautions are taken:
- Read directions carefully before using and use only for the purpose stated on the label.
- Avoid contact with spray or dust with skin.
- Avoid breathing fumes from sprays or dust.
- Avoid spraying or dusting on windy days. A calm, cloudy day is best for spraying.
- Avoid eating or smoking when spraying or dusting.
- Rinse spray equipment after use, wash face and hands with soap and water.
- Store sprays and dust should be out of reach of children or in a locked cupboard.
- Don’t harvest vegetable and fruit crops earlier than the withholding period.
Totally rid your garden of pests and diseases with the help of pest control experts in Australia.