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Organic Pest Control when Growing Your Own - a quick guide

Veg trough

So you've planned your plot, read up on the best growing conditions and have a host of tips ready to deploy to make this year the best yet in your veg plot but have you made a plan for stopping the insects getting to your harvest before you do?  Here's a quick rundown of the pest you might come across and what you can do to stop them in their tracks.

Aphids

Crops affected - aphids love most edibles, you'll find them on Tomatoes, Carrots, Chillis, the list goes on...

How to get rid of aphids - being quick off the mark is going to make things easier.  If you had an aphid problem last year then start spraying with a contact insecticide like Horticultural Soap or introduce predators just before you noticed the problem in previous years.  This could be any time from April on the whole.

Aphid controls can be found here.

Whitefly

Crops affected - whitefly are typically found in glasshouses and polytunnels where they enjoy the warmth and light.  Whitefly attack brassicas, tomato plants, cucumbers and peppers.

How to get rid of whitefly - use a contact based insecticide 3 times a week to get control of an infestation.  Use parasitic wasps, Encarsia Formosa once the temperature is consistently above 20°C.

Whitefly controls can be found here.

Caterpillars

Crops affected - Caterpillars eat holes in your crops, especially brassicas.  Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, swede among others can be obliterated by hungry caterpillars.

How to get rid of caterpillars - a mix of nematodes that are contained in the Fruit and Veg nematode pack can be used to control caterpillars, find them here.

Root flies

Crops affected - Cabbage, other brassicas and onions suffer from root damage from the larvae/maggots of these pests feeding.  They kill recently transplanted young plants and seedlings.  Many crops are made inedible from this family of pests.  

How to get rid of root fly - nematodes contained in the Fruit and Veg product will clear these pests from the soil.  The mix of nematodes cover a wide range of fly larvae.  Find the product here.

Slugs

Crops affected - as we all know, slugs really aren't fussy and you will find holes and slimy trails all over your crops.  What you might not be immediately aware of is the damage being done underground.  Over 90% of the slugs in your garden/plot/patch are underground feeding on root material.

How to get rid of slugs - use nematodes especially for slugs (Nemaslug) as soon as the soil temperature reaches 5°C and every 6 weeks throughout the growing season.  Find the nematodes here.

There are a range of other pests including thrips, red spider mite and others that can chomp away on your tasty treats, if you have a pest you can't identify or would just like some advice email plantcare@ladybirdplantcare.co.uk.

 If you are new to growing vegetables then the RHS and Gardeners World have some great advice to get you from seed to harvest.

 

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