Spring is a time for gardens to sing with life and colour, but it’s also a time for some common plant health problems to arise.
Problem 1: Psyllids
Lilly-pilly trees are a very popular hedging plant, but can be vulnerable to psyllids which cause unsightly, but harmless lesions on new growth. To avoid this problem ask your local garden expert for lilly-pilly strains that are resistant to psyllid attack.
Problem 2: Fruit Split
Dry periods followed by sudden deluges can cause fruit to split whilst its growing, most common in juicy and fleshy fruits like tomato or citrus. Although the scarring may seem unsightly, it is still edible and any new fruit produced should be unaffected once consistent moisture levels are obtained. However, do watch your tomatoes for signs of blossom-end rot, a plant health problem also resulting from variable moisture conditions.
Problem 3: Caterpillars
Caterpillars can do serious damage in a short period of time. To avoid the use of pesticides, caterpillars can be flicked of food crops and squashed on sight, for major infestations use Searles Bug Beater (a natural pyrethrum spray).
Problem 4: Scale
Scale affects roses and ornamentals where it can cause leaf yellowing and drop. It also produces honeydew which encourages sooty mould and ant infestations. Treat it with Searles White Oil or Searles Pest Gun.
Problem 5: Two-spotted mite
Two-spotted mite affects ornamentals, fruit trees and some vegetables. Affected leaves have a mottled appearance or can be bronzed or shrivelled. Leave them to natural predators, but if the problem is severe, spray Searles Rose Pro.