Aphids

September is the first month of Spring in Australia and you are sure to find Aphids on your Roses. These small green sap suckers on your roses are easy to control with a horticultural spray so your roses can stay healthy and bloom from Spring to Autumn. Spray plants at the first sign of Aphids in early Spring with Pyrethrum, horticultural oil or Natures way bug gun.

Did you know that when a baby Aphid is born it already has babies growing inside it, so the mother also carries her grandchildren.

Aphids may be the only insects that can photosynthesize

Why is plant my dying?

Even if your plants are correctly watered and fed occasionally they sometimes die.  We can help you work out what has happened so you don’t keep spending money on plants only to be disappointed and out of pocket. You need to work out what has happened as it may affect other plants, then you can treat them before it’s too late.  Check the steams for pest or disease.  Have a close look at the foliage, is there any damage, have they been eaten, are there any bugs on them?  Take a close look at plants at night, lots of bugs only come out in the dark and also after rain.  Also check the roots, are they shrivelled from drought or water logging, have they been eaten by bugs?  Is the plant in the wrong position, too much sun or not enough, too dry or too wet, is the soil too acidic or too alkaline or is the soil texture to hard with too much clay.  We come to your garden and help you solve these problems with our garden consultation service.

White cabbage butterfly control

Are your Brocilli, Cauliflower and Cabbages being eaten in the garden? Most likely it is the caterpillar of the cabbage moth.  The white cabbage moth lays its eggs on your plants and when they hatch the caterpillars start feeding on your plants leaving many holes.  The caterpillar will then form its cocoon on your plants, then in time out will come the white cabbage moth.  You can protect your crops by checking them daily looking on the underside of the leaf and squashing the caterpillars with your fingers.  You can also spray them, but be careful what you use, you don’t want to use anything poisonous as you are going to eat these plants.  Dipel  is the best spray, it is a non-toxic, naturally occurring bacteria known as Bacillus thuringiensis which only kills the caterpillars as they eat.  Another way to control cabbage moth is with the plant Barbarea vulgaris known as Land cress, winter cress, Rocket cress or cress, this plant is a great companion plant for Brassicas such as Brocilli and Cabages. The white cabbage butterfly would prefer to lay it’s egg on this rather than the Brocilli you grow to eat yourself.  The benefit of this is that this plant is poisonous to the cabbage moth and  when the caterpillars hatch and start eating it, the toxicity of the cress kills them. This protects your Brocilli by being a sacrifice plant in your garden.

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Wasps in Melbourne gardens

There is nothing worse than being unable to enjoy your garden because of wasps. You can remove wasps from your garden by finding the nest and placing wasp powder around the entrance, but you must do this when it’s dark to avoid being attacked. If you can’t get wasp dust use ant dust as it’s the same thing, active ingredients  being Permethrin.

If you can’t find the nest you can set up a bait station, with a plastic drink bottle. Cut a hole in the side of the bottle, so wasps can get in, place a small amount of meat, dog food or cat food in the bottle then add Ant rid (borax). The wasp will take some meat and ant rid back to the nest to share and kill the wasps.

Scale insects on stem and leaves of plants

Hard or soft scale insects are sap sucking insects, that live under a coating sucking sap from leaves and stems. Scale also secrete a honeydew which can grow a fungi on it which looks like soot on foliage and stems.

Scale can be treated by spraying the plant with a horticultural oil which will also stop the sooty mould from forming.

 

Sooty mould on citrus in photo above.