Coping with plant diseases
Try and buy disease-resistant plants. For instance, older varieties of roses are susceptible to mildew and black spot, while new generations of roses are virtually entirely resistant to those diseases – so grow these instead!
Tackling garden pests
The key to keeping pest numbers under control is to encourage wildlife into your garden. You're letting nature do the work for you, plus it's a healthier and more balanced way of gardening.
- Put up bird feeders. In summer the birds forage for greenfly and blackfly, and come winter time they'll eat the caterpillars. Plus, birds bring entertainment and activity to your garden.
- Grow poached egg plants. This plant produces wonderful wide flowers that attract insects called hoverflies, which are aggressive predators. In its lavae stage, one hoverfly will eat up to 400 greenfly a day. Also, encourage ladybirds into your garden with plants such as yarrow. Together, hoverflies and ladybirds will keep greenfly and blackfly under control.
- To get rid of slugs, encourage hedgehogs. You can attract these prickly creatures into you garden by creating places where they can shelter, either with special houses or using stumps of logs and branches. If you have a pond, frogs and toads will also keep slugs at bay.
So rather than using pesticides, get nature to do lots of the jobs for you!