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Overwintering pests and diseases

Posted: Tuesday 3 April 2012
by Pippa Greenwood

At this time of year, I am buzzing with excitement, watching buds that are bursting at the seams, full of energy and potential.


Clematis bud

At this time of year, I am buzzing with excitement, watching buds that are bursting at the seams, full of energy and potential. Recently I was out in my garden with Sarah, a Gardeners’ World Magazine photographer. I was glad that we’d been asked to take photographs of buds, as well as pest- and disease-ridden plants.

It’s worth sparing a few moments to ‘bud watch’, monitoring their growth and enjoying their beauty. While you’re at it, grab a carrier bag and a really sharp pair of secateurs, and make sure that you also look out for the remains of overwintering pests and diseases.

The winter was mild overall, and as a result, some plants that are normally regarded as deciduous still bear a good few leaves. Many of these are plastered with disease. For instance, roses harbour blackspot lesions on last year’s leaves, and may also overwinter blackspot, in tiny purple-black spots on the stems. I won’t be surprised if the roses succumb badly this year.

There may also be stems infected with grey mould (Botrytis) or canker. These, together with infected or infested leaves, need to go into the carrier bag, for immediate disposal.

You’re also likely to find some small infestations of greenfly or blackfly, tucked away on soft foliage, which can rapidly spread. In fact, you may well need several carrier bags, and some disposable gloves, to make aphid-squishing less unpleasant.



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happymarion 04/04/2012 at 11:07

But the ladybirds are coming to our rescue, Pippa, at least mine. They are there in an instant when I take anything outside from the conservatory that has aphids on like the odd aonium. I do hope some of the early buds are not going to be destroyed by the sudden change in the weather