Pests and problems

by Pippa Greenwood

This year we held our annual Gardeners' Question Time Garden Party at our GQT garden at Sparsholt College near Winchester, Hampshire.

Scale insects on the back of a house plant leafThis year we held our annual Gardeners' Question Time Garden Party at our GQT garden at Sparsholt College near Winchester, Hampshire.  This year it was a serious scorcher with baking sun and sometimes oppressive heat, but it certainly seemed that the visitors were having a good time.

We recorded two programmes for Radio 4, the first will be going out this Friday and then on the Sunday, the second will be for the following week, so do tune in if you get the chance. There were also all sorts of demonstrations and activities going on. Bunny Guinness demonstrated her 'limbering-up-for-gardening' exercises; a poor, unfortunate soul attempted to convert a very stubborn Eric Robson to the art of flower arranging; Anne Swithinbank ran her house plant clinic and there were numerous opportunities to talk garden design. I had a great time chatting about pests and pathogens in the potting shed. It was amazing just how many people were happy to queue in the hot sun to talk about their problems (it got so hot that we started trying to cram them into the potting shed instead).

And it was fascinating to see just what the trends were - I saw hordes of scale insects and plenty of powdery mildew. There were also a worrying number of yellowed raspberry leaves - some caused by magnesium deficiency, with others resulting from too alkaline a soil.

I found it fascinating and just want to apologise to  all those who were turned away from the potting shed door when we ran out of time!

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Gardeners' World Web User 02/07/2010 at 14:44

hiya, could someone tell me what are theses flys that have seem to of landed in my garden,they are millions of them and they are all over the ponds,,,,they are not on the plants just hoovering over water,also they are very small.... help.

Gardeners' World Web User 02/07/2010 at 19:35

What insect builds a cocoon of leaves in soil (of spring cabbage seedlings)? I have creatures similar to wasps/bees that have made a hole in the soil of my spring cabbage seedlings and keep returning with small pieces of leaves. When I broke the soil away there are neat cocoons made of the leaves with a waxy substance inside. What are the creatures?

Gardeners' World Web User 02/07/2010 at 20:40

I love gardeners world but find it completely ruined for me by the incessant, intrusive so-called music in the background. I struggle to hear the dialogue. Tonight the pianist was repeatedly playing 3 notes over and over again. Why do we need it, what does it add?

Gardeners' World Web User 03/07/2010 at 18:07

I have got a type of soft whit e fungus on my japanse maple and on my bay leaf tree one small one has died what is how can i stop it spreadinBg thanksBrian.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/07/2010 at 18:25

I have clusters of eggs and black flys with red makings all over my cherry tree. Whole areas of leaves appear to be decimated by this. Anyone know what it may be and if there is a solution? Thanks.

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