Whitehall Garden Centres Blog

Welcome to Whitehall Garden Centres Blog. We aim to provide you with hints, tips, information and advice on all aspects of gardening! It is a chance for you to ask us questions and to read our blog posts about what you should be doing in your garden each month.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Houseplant pests and diseases

Types of Pest or Disease...
Aphids (Black, White or Green Fly)
Scale (Little brown "Army hats" found of the veins of leaves)
Thrips (Quick moving jumping black fly found on the top of compost)
Mealy Bug (White cotton wool like fluff)
Red Spider Mite (Very small webs with tiny red spider which can be seen through a magnifying glass)
Vine Weevil (Larvae like maggots in summer found in compost and turn into hard backed black Beatles in the Autumn.
Botrytis (Grey moulding of leaves and stems)
Oedema (Scabbed, split and crinkled leaves)
Due to recent EU regulations many chemicals have become unavailable for common use. However we still have a few products available which can help prevent or cure pests and disease.
Provado Ultimate Bug Killer is avaliable as a ready made spray or as a concentrate, this is highly recommended and will deal with all of the pest listed except Vine Weevil. For Vine Weevil there is a product called Provado Vine Weevil Killer which can be used.

Strawberry Plants

Planting and upkeep-Strawberries are an ideal fruit to grow in your garden as they do not take up a lot of room and can also provide your garden with pretty flowers as well as delicious ripe fruits. Strawberries can be grown in many soil conditions however they will thrive in well drained soil that is rich in humus. They also like to be in full sunlight and out of the wind. The ideal time to plant Strawberries outdoors is between June and September. It is best to prepare the soil before you plant, you can do this by digging over the soil and removing any weeds and then putting manure down on the soil. Plant the Strawberry plants about 35cm apart in rows, with the rows being about 75cm apart. To prevent Slugs getting at your crop put down pellets, grit or broken egg shells under each plant. To make sure you get the best Strawberries, hoe between the rows, also to stop pests such as Rabbits, Birds and Squirrels you may want to put a net over the top. You can also surround the area with Barley Straw to help prevent the growth of weeds.
Harvest- As soon as any fruit appears ripe it is a good idea to pick it to stop it from rotting, check the plant regularly for ripening fruit and when it turns red you know it is ripe. Then all you need to do is enjoy your fruit!

Tip- Strawberries can also be planted in a pop up Strawberry planter and placed on a patio or small garden. This eliminates the waste of space and the need for a lot of digging.