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Handling Your Garden On Your Own

Handling Your Garden On Your Own

Although pests and diseases can be controlled by currently available pesticides, some are often most easily kept at bay by cultivation or organic methods. You can use these as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, pesticides.

Slugs, Snails, And Earwigs

Slugs and snails can strip plants of their leaves, perennials, climbers, bulbs, vegetables, and fruits. They feed mostly at night and in wet weather, Earwigs are particularly fond of chrysanthemum, attacking seedlings, annuals, shrubs, herbaceous dahlia, and clematis leaves, and petals.

Slugs and Snails
Making a barrier: Slugs and snails dislike crawling over rough surfaces.

Use this to your advantage: Create a barrier around susceptible plants with coarsely crushed eggshells.

Creating a hiding place: Make a shelter in which earwigs will collect by using rolled-up, corrugated cardboard. Tie a roll onto a stake near earwig-prone plants. Crush the earwigs.

Methods of Control
• Snail search Hunt for slugs and snails after rain, and with a flashlight at night. Collect and dispose of the pests.
• Beer traps Pour a little beer into a small container and sink it so that the edge protrudes just above the soil. Slugs and snails will drink the beer, fall in, and drown – but, unfortunately, so will other species that are not pests.
• Flower pot traps Trap earwigs by placing an inverted flower pot filled with hay on k stake near susceptible plants.

Flea Beetles
Although small, these black, metallic blue, hundreds of small holes in plant leaves. Young or striped jumping beetles are capable of plants are particularly prone to attack and are causing a lot of damage, since they can make likely to be seriously damaged or killed.

Methods of Control
• Sticky card Try using a yellow card coated with non- setting glue for catching flea beetles. These and other flying or jumping pests are attracted by the color yellow and will fly or jump onto the card.
• Clearing debris Flea beetle grubs may cause slight damage by nibbling on roots of seedlings. Clear away plant debris to remove the grubs’ usual overwintering sites.
• Using chemicals If an infestation is severe, dust the soil surface, as well as plant leaves, with an insecticide.

Trapping Flea Beetles
Coat the surface of a piece of board measuring about 6 x 3 in (15 x 7.5 cm) with heavy grease or nonsetting glue. Take care not to disturb the foliage of infected plants.

On Infected Plants
Run the sticky side of the board over the plants, about 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) above them. Many of die flea beetles will jump or fly up and stick to the grease or glue.
Cabbage Root Flies and Codling Moths
These pests are not related to one another, but the damage that both cause can be limited by anticipating and interrupting their reproductive cycles, and by setting traps. Cabbage root flies devastate brassica crops, while codling moths lay their eggs on apples.

Cabbage Root Flies
Surrounding stems: To prevent female cabbage root flies from laying eggs close to host plants, cut out circles of carpet padding, felt, or cardboard. Make slits in the circles, and place the circles around the base of young brassica plants.

Codling Moths
Wrapping a trunk: Scrape off loose bark on an apple- tree trunk in midsummer, and wrap a small area of each trunk in burlap. As the moth caterpillars crawl up the trunk to pupate, they will hide in the burlap; remove and discard it.

Methods of Control
• Moth traps In late spring, try hanging pheromone traps in apple trees. These triangular, plastic boxes contain sticky paper, and in the middle of each is a capsule containing pheromone, which a female moth excretes to attract a mate. The male moths are attracted by the smell and become trapped on the sticky paper. The female’s eggs remain unfertilized.
• Last resort If all else fails, protect transplanted cabbages and seedlings with a suitable contact insecticide, or start over again and replant.

Carrot and garden

Carrot Rust Flies and Pollen Beetles
Carrot rust flies can kill young carrots and other susceptible crops, including parsley, celery, and parsnips. Although pollen beetles do not cause much direct damage, they are present in large numbers on flowers and can be very irritating when cut flowers are brought indoors.

Carrot Rust Flies: Resistant plants Select relatively resistant carrot cultivars to grow. Contact a local vegetable expert for specific cultivars.

Obstructing flies: Protect young carrot plants by making a plastic barrier 24 in (60 cm) high. The carrot rust fly is a low-flying pest and will not be able to reach the crop.

Methods of Control
• Timing To avoid much of the damage caused by carrot rust flies, sow carrots after late spring, or harvest the crop before midsummer.
• Killing larvae When sowing carrot seed, treat the row with a soil insecticide to kill off any fly larvae in the soil that have not yet hatched.
• Avoiding smells Avoid bruising the carrot crop, or excessive thinning, since the smell of carrots attracts carrot rust flies. Use pelleted carrot seed, which is easier to sow thinly and reduces or eliminates the need for thinning the crop.
• Row cover Lay row covers over carrot crops. Make sure that there are no gaps through which the flies can enter.

A Good Idea
Removing pollen beetles: Shake any cut flowers infested with pollen beetles, and leave them overnight in a dark shed or garage with a single light source. Most of the beetles will fly toward the light, leaving the flowers beetle-free.

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Category: Gardening

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