Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Pests ‘can be tackled organically’

After the bulk of the work on creating a beautiful space in a greenhouse is completed, gardening enthusiasts would be perfectly within their rights to want to kick back and enjoy the fruit of their labours.

However, this is not the end of the job – as maintaining the green area is an ongoing task that is never really finished.

Constant vigilance in particular must be maintained against the risk of pests showing up and undermining everything.

Kate Gould, professional garden designer and a regular exhibitor at the UK's Chelsea Flower Show, has emphasised the benefits of tackling this issue organically.

In an article for the British national newspaper the Guardian, she acknowledged that dealing with pests can be a difficult issue – adding that this is especially the case when the likes of weeds such as bindweed, ground elder, nettles and brambles are included in the category.

Furthermore, the expert also conceded that synthetic chemicals can be a quicker and better way of addressing the problem.

However, she said that she is more inclined to keep things organic having had plenty of problems with slugs and snails, vine weevils and lily beetles, rust, mildew, blight and pernicious weeds in the past.

Indeed, the Royal Horticultural Society recently underlined that it is increasingly important for gardeners to take conscious action to be eco-friendly.

A report conducted for the gardening charity in collaboration with the University of Reading and the University of Sheffield noted that green spaces are increasingly being seen as a luxury in times of high urbanisation.

As a result, gardening is no longer an eco-friendly activity by default, so individuals who engage in the activity have to do their best to minimise their carbon footprint.

Ms Gould said that one organic way of tackling issues like mildew, black spot and rust is good husbandry. She added that this can also be effective when it comes to addressing lily beetles and vine weevils.

"If you know the signs, you can avert the problem before it becomes too serious," the expert commented, adding: "Look for square notches on the edges of leaves that mean vine weevil are present (Rhododendron, Heuchera and Sedum are particular favorites) and douse the roots with nematodes."

"The most effective organic control of [lily beetles is to hand pick] them off your lilies – a job that definitely requires gloves," Ms Gould continued, adding that they are easy to spot as they are bright scarlet.