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Garden pests and fungal diseases are the bane of a healthy garden. Garden pests are organisms that chew on your plants and shrubs – they often cause damage. Not all garden pests have to be eliminated but there are common bad pests that you will have to know about and deal with. Fungal diseases are also common – plants are vulnerable to many diseases and without the proper care an entire garden can be affected.

With our handy guide, we'll explain some of the most common pests to look out for to ensure you can maintain your garden and keep it looking healthy.

How do I prepare for garden pests?

Garden pests can be difficult to deal with but with the right preparation anyone can prevent them from ruining your garden. The common pests in the UK include the box tree caterpillar, the weevil, slugs/snails, gall mites, and alder leaf beetles.

You can deal with pests by utilising:

  • Physical barriers like screens, plant cages, hot caps or traps (e.g. slug beer trap)

  • Use insect repellent or pesticides or you can use natural repellents such as herbal sprays.

  • Keep your soil healthy with compost.

  • Remove big pests with some handy gloves.

  • Rotate your crops. Place your plants in different positions every year/season.

How do I spot and deal with fungal disease?

Fungal diseases are caused by the right combination of a pathogen, host and environment. Pathogens enter through vulnerable plants – their pruning cuts, injury or leaves, stems and roots. The pathogen needs a susceptible plant – a type and variety that is prone to that disease or a plant that is stressed, which leads to the final factor.

The environment can affect a plants sunlight, water, heat and humidity. However, some disease may not need a specific environment.

Visual examples of diseases and solutions

  • Coloured plant rust e.g. orange patches on leaves
    • Solution: Remove affected leaves or cut off the branches that are affected (Pruning)

  • Brown spots that can be rubbed, leaving a stain.
    • Solution: Spray fungicide specific to the plant

  • Black/dark blotches on leaves.
    • Solution: Improve air circulation to the tree by pruning dense plants and shrubs. Water plants early in the day so it can dry out through the day

  • Yellow leaves and mushy stems.
    • Solution: With a highly spread fungal disease, dig up the infected plant and bury them several feet in the ground.

For more information and advice from our expert team - our free course - Seeds For Success - provides you with the tips and tricks over 6 weeks - so you keep garden pests and fungus away. Register your interest below.

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