After all the hard work earlier in the season, this is now beginning to get to the time where you can sit back and enjoy the delights of your garden. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when bugs and diseases like powdery mildew can detract from the splendour, so we have some tips on how to tackle these problems – without using harsh chemicals. One of our mantras is ‘healthy soil makes healthy plants’, so we are keen to create good soil, either in the beds or pots and containers. Try and ensure that soil in pots gets the chance to dry out between watering, as this reduces the risk of Scarid flies making their home in your pots. Hoeing is one of my favourite tasks, and this tilling of the soil helps reduce weed growth around plants, also bringing any pests which lurk under the topsoil to the surface, a ready meal for the garden’s birds.
As you’ll know from previous blogs, we try and make our garden as wildlife friendly as possible. Ladybirds, frogs, hedgehogs, ground beetles plus the birds are excellent predators all of which help to control bugs like caterpillars, aphids and slugs so we like to encourage them. Making homes for our wildlife is a great task to give any children bored during the summer holidays – we have a number of home-made bird boxes and bug hotels around the garden, perhaps not all as neat as they could be, but all made by willing young hands!
When our wildlife can’t take care of the problem, we turn to ecofective® Bug and Mildew Control, which is suitable for indoor and outdoor plants. Common bugs like whiteflies, aphids, red spider mites, and mealybugs can be dealt with in an environmentally responsible manner, as this product doesn’t rely on conventional pesticide chemicals. Rather, it has a more physical method, containing a blend of surfactants which stops the pests from moving and being able to feed. Not only does this make it safe to use near pets and children, it is also not a threat for bees and wildlife.
This formulation is used by many professional growers and landscapers across the UK and Europe, on a variety of plants including ornamentals, fruit, vegetables and herbs. Because there is no harvest interval, produce can be eaten within hours after application. We are out early in the morning, or later in the evening to avoid using the spray in direct sunlight as we would run the risk of scorching our plants.
All of which means that we get the opportunity to enjoy our garden ourselves, instead of sharing it with unwanted bugs!