Controlling Red Spider Mite Underglass
Red Spider Mite (RSM) is a major pests under glass & can be a particular problem in conservatories where the combination of high temps & low humidity in the summer are ideal for their development. In a conservatory their lifecycle can become modified to last all year long as in an artificial environment they will receive extra light and heat. To control RSM :-
Adult Red Spider Mite (RSM) are just visible to the naked eye and can be found on the underside of leaves. Despite their name they can be any colour from red, yellow, green, orange, brown or even black depending on the host plant, although they are normally red and all have 2 dark spots on the rear of the body. The females over winter in cracks and crevices in greenhouses or conservatories and emerge to lay eggs in the spring when the temperatures rise and the daylength increases. The eggs hatch to produce larvae and as the temperatures rise the infestation can quickly escalate and get out of control. All the stages in the RSM cycle feed on the underside of leaves.
Red Spider Mite feeds on plant tissue piercing the cells and sucking out it's contents killing it. This occurs mostly on the underside of the leaves resulting in small yellow / white spots to appear on the upper leaf surface. As the attack continues the death of more and more cells causes the leaf to turn yellow and die. Eventually the whole plant is killed. As the number of RSM increases, webs are produced across the shoot tips. RSM can be brought into the greenhouse or conservatory either on plants, on the clothing of people or through vents in warm weather.
Use Amblyseius andersonii to control Red Spider Mite when the temperatures are either not warm enough to introduce Phytoseiulus i.e. in the winter or if the temperatures regularly exceed 30c/86f. Amblyseius andersonii is a low/high temperture predator, which only needs a temperature of 10c to become active & is much more tolerant of higher temperatures.
Amblyseius andersonii is supplied in sachets with each sachet containing a colony of Amblyseius & a supply of food which will last them for up to 6-8 weeks. During this time the adult Amblyseius will emerge and search for RSM on your plants to eat. If there are none they will search out other sources of food such as pollen, fungal spores and plant sap and then wait for the red spider mite to arrive.
To find out more about using Amblyseius andersonii - Click Here
Introduce Phytoseiulus AS SOON as you see RSM & the temp is between 16c & 30c. Phytoseiulus has been used commercially since the 1960's & is very effective at controlling RSM. Phytoseiulus is a tiny mite, slightly smaller than a RSM and it feeds on all stages of the RSM eating up to 5 adults or 25 young larvae/eggs per day. Phytoseiulus is supplied in small tubes containing a minimum of 1000 adults. The contents of the tube (inc. the vermiculite they are packed in) is simply sprinkled over the infected plants. If the infestation of RSM is very heavy, break up any webs with your fingers or with a feather duster and spray the plant with SB Invigorator, concentrating on the underside of the leaves. You can help the Phytoseiulus by increasing the humidity & by keeping the temp above 16C (but below 30°C). Also group infected plants together, so the Phyto can "chase" the RSM from plant to plant.
To find out more about using Phytoseiulus - Click Here
Controlling Box Tree Caterpillars and Blight
Treating Box Tree Caterpillars and Box Blight - We are getting lots of enquiries about BOTH Box Tree Caterpillars and Box Blight and the great news is we have solutions for them BOTH! Spray with Nemasys Fruit and Vegetable nematodes to control the caterpillars and spray with TopBuxus Health Mix to encourage healthy, blight-free growth next year.
|TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix - For healthy green, blight free box trees / hedges/ balls and topiary apply TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix. Box blight is a fungal disease, which causes leaves to go brown and fall off, leading to bare patches, which makes the plants unsightly. TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix is a brilliant leaf fertiliser, which is sprayed on and encourages healthy blight-free growth. Spray your box trees / hedges/ balls / topiary throughout the growing season (1-5 times a year) with this leaf fertiliser containing trace elements on a 100% natural base to strengthen your box tree, produces healthy green, shiny leaves and at the same time protect them from box blight. TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix is supplied as 20g effervescent tablets with each tablet capable of treating 10 sqm of box trees / plants. Add a tablet to 1 litre of water and leave it to "fizz" for 10 minutes before spraying the resulting solution onto 10m of box trees / hedges. Apply TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix in the autumn to ensure your box is free from blight fungal spores during the winter and then start applying in the spring to ensure healthy, green new growth. TopBuxus Box Tree Health Mix is easy and safe to use and should be sprayed over the entire surface of your plants.|
To find out more about Topbuxus Health Tree Mix - Click Here
|Box Tree Caterpillars - These caterpillars feeds on box plants causing severe defoliation and although it is native to East Asia it has become well established in parts of London and some of the surrounding counties. The caterpillars eat the box leaves and produce large amounts of webbing. As the caterpillars feed, areas of dieback may appear, which will be especially apparent on trimmed plants. Box Tree Caterpillars are greenish-yellow with black headsand once fully grown the caterpillars reach up to 4cm in length and will have a thick black and thin white stripes along its body. It overwinters as a caterpillar, hidden between leaves that have been spun together with silk. In the spring, the moths appear - they have brown or clear wings and are about 4cm in width. It is believed to have two or three generations per year. Control Box Tree Caterpillars by spraying in the autumn (before the temperature drops below 12C) with Nemasys® Fruit and Vegetable Protection to control the caterpillars before they over-winter and then re-apply in the spring once daytime temps reach 12c (late March onwards) as needed to keep the caterpillars under control i.e. spray throughout the year when spotted.
Nemasys® Fruit and Vegetable Protection - Each pack of Nemasys® Fruit and Vegetable Protection contains a unique mix of different nematodes, which protects your plants, fruit and veg from caterpillars. It is suitable for use on organic crops & it will NOT harm pets, children, wildlife or bees. To control caterpillars order 3 packs of GYO and apply them 3 times at 7 day intervals. Each pack will treat up to 60 sqm of plants. Make sure to wet the area before the application to increase the humidity and thus provide a better environment for the nematodes in order to keep them alive for as long as possible. Mix the first sachet of nematodes with water and apply with a sprayer directly to the affected plants making sure the nematodes come into contact with the caterpillars. The nematodes enter the caterpillars and kill them. The whole process is repeated 7 day later using the 2nd and 3rd fresh pack of nematodes. Store the sachets in a fridge and use them before the expiry date (approx 4 weeks).
Control Box Tree Caterpillars by spraying with Nemasys® Fruit and Vegetable Protection - Click Here
Butterfly Breeding Kits are an Ideal Christmas Gift
Our Butterfly Breeding Kits make an ideal gift. - Our Butterfly Breeding Kits come with everything you need to breed your own Painted Lady butterflies – watch them develop from caterpillar to butterflies.
|Our Butterfly Breeding Kits feature caterpillars of the Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui, L), which are a native, migrating butterfly, that can fly thousands of miles in search of food. They lay up to 500 eggs and their caterpillars feed on weeds such as nettles. Because they are native to the UK, once you butterflies have developed, you can keep them for a few days before releasing them into your garden - they can often be seen for several days- especially if you have a butterfly friendly garden and feeder. The caterpillars are available between March and September, so our butterfly kits come with a VOUCHER for the 1st lot of caterpillars included, so the kit can be given as a gift at anytime i.e. this Christmas and then the vouchers can be redeemed between March and September next year.
Ideal Gift - The Butterfly Garden is a reusable butterfly breeding kit, which allows you to study 5 butterflies as they change from caterpillar into butterfly - once developed they can then be released into the garden. The Butterfly Garden includes a 30cm hanging / free-standing mesh garden, a VOUCHER for 5 Painted Lady caterpillars and food, pipette for feeding and full instructions. The Butterfly Garden is designed to be re-useable i.e. you can re-order the caterpillars only anytime between March and early September and then repeat the whole process.
Butterfly Garden – includes a voucher for 5 caterpillars £19.99
Caterpillar Refill - 5 caterpillars and food £13.50
What happens once you receive your kit? – Once you have your kit and are ready to start , return the voucher or register online and the caterpillars will be sent to you by 1st class post. Remember it will take 3-5 weeks for caterpillars to change into butterflies. Caterpillars are avaiable between Mrch and September each year.
Caring for your caterpillars - Once your caterpillars arrive, simply watch them eat, spin silk and grow to many times their original size. The caterpillars don’t need anything other than the food supplied in the cup and the small holes in the lid of the cup will provide plenty of air. They can stay as caterpillars for up to 2 weeks, but normally 7 days depending on temperature – 24c/76f is ideal. When the caterpillars are ready to become chrysalides, they will climb to the top of the cup and hang upside down attaching themselves to the paper disc inside the lid. After 24 / 48 hours the chrysalis and will have a beautiful sheen of bronze and gold. When your chrysalides have formed move them into your Butterfly Garden.
The birth of the butterfly - After 7 -14 days the chrysalides will darken and you will be able to see the colours of the butterflies through the shell. As the butterfly emerges, it will rest while pumping its wings to full size. After 1 or 2 hours the wings will be full sized and hard and the butterfly is ready to fly. Now you can decorate the inside of your Pavilion or Garden with flowers, twigs & leaves. You can keep your butterflies for 2 – 3 days feeding them sugar solution (sugar and water) or fruit before releasing them in your garden.
N.B. The Butterfly Garden is designed to be re-useable i.e. you can re-order the caterpillars only anytime between March and early September and then repeat the whole process.
To find out more about Butterfly Breeding Kits - Click Here
Clean and fumigate your greenhouse ready for the winter
|Preparing your greenhouse for the winter - As temperatures drop it is time to clean the greenhouse, so it is ready when you move plants undercover for the winter. It is important to remove bacterial and fungal diseases AND to kill any pests, which have thrived during the summer i.e. red spider mite, whitefly and aphids. Use Citrox (our natural disinfectant) and Garlic Greenhouse Candles to prepare your greenhouse ready for the winter.|
|Citrox disinfectant - It is important to clean your greenhouse to remove dirt, algae & moss from the glass to let as much light in as possible PLUS don't forget to disinfectant the inside to control pests & diseases. Use Citrox natural disinfectant to remove any bacterial / fungal diseases i.e. Mildew, Botrytis (grey mould) & Blight from your greenhouse, pots and seed trays. This powerful natural disinfectant contains extracts of citrus fruit, which will not harm plants, so they do not need to be removed while using it. Use Citrox to clean and disinfect your greenhouse i.e. use it to clean the glass, plastic, concrete and brickwork, PLUS you can use it to soak your plant pots and trays, so they are disease free.|
To find out more about Citrox - Click Here
Garlic Greenhouse Candles - It is important to fumigate / clean a greenhouse to clear out any pests that have flourished during the summer before you move plants in for the winter. Clear your greenhouse of these unwanted pests by fumigating with a Garlic Greenhouse Candle NOW. Garlic Greenhouse Candles are used in the same way as a sulphur candle i.e. place it in your greenhouse, light the fuse & leave overnight HOWEVER, unlike sulphur candles you do NOT need to remove the plants before using the Garlic Candle and they are safe to use in aluminium greenhouses and polytunnels. Garlic Greenhouse Candles do not leave any smell or visible deposits in the greenhouse & they will not taint fruit / veg.
Garlic Greenhouse Candles - Each Garlic Greenhouse Candle will treat approx 20 cubic metres - equivalent to a 3m/11ft x 2m/7ft greehouse. How do I use them :-
Garlic Greenhouse Candles as recommended by Adam Pascoe in the Gardeners World magazine - "Take this opportunity to clean the glass & framework & fumigate to get rid of any pests & fungal spores. Try a Garlic Candle from Green Gardener, which produces smoke that gets into all the nooks & crannies. Use 2 candles per greenhouse. Seal the windows and doors, so the smoke does not escape."
Special Offer - Buy Garlic Candles x2 and Citrox Twin Pack (makes 20 litres) together for £25.97 saving £6.00
Special Offer - Buy Garlic Candles x6 and Economy Citrox (makes 150 litres) together for £62.94 saving £10.00
To find out more about Garlic Greenhouse Candles - Click Here
Treating Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs in Lawns
|When the lawn looks good, the garden looks good too, however, in recent years BOTH Chafer Grubs and Leatherjackets have flourished (due to a mild winter last year and a warm autumn this year) and BOTH these pests can devastate a lawn.
The symptoms of a Chafer Grub and Leatherjacket attacks are very similar, so is difficult to identify, which pest you have i.e. grass growth slows and yellow patches appear PLUS the grass easily pulls up with little or no roots. The best way to identify the pest is by cutting a 15cm x15cm section of damaged turf on three sides and peeling back the sod. Shake the sample or probe through the soil with a knife to dislodge the grubs/larvae. The pests will not be distributed evenly, so examine other parts of the lawn to find the extent of the infection.
Chafer Grubs (top left) – are creamy coloured, approx. 1.5 cm in length, have distinctive legs and will be found in the grass roots. Birds (magpies and crows), foxes and badgers attacking the grass in an attempt to eat the grubs (and cause even more damage) is a sure sign of chafer grubs.
Leatherjackets (bottom left) - are the larval stage of the crane fly / daddy long legs, so watch out for lots of daddy long legs emerging from your lawn in the autumn. Leatherjackets are 2.5cm / 1" long, greyish black in colour, legless and with no distinct head. Small birds i.e. starlings pecking at the lawn is a sure sign of a leatherjacket infestation.
Once you have identified the pest it is important to treat with the correct nematode and at the right time of year. Treat as soon as you can as neither of these pests will go away of their own accord and the problem will just get worse if not treated.
Chafer Grubs - The Garden Chafer Beetle emerges in May/June from the lawn and mate before laying eggs. These eggs hatch to produced chafer grubs. The eggs are often laid in the same place each year so the problem gets progressively worse. The Chafer Grubs feed on grass roots from July until late Autumn before burrowing deep into the ground to pupate. The Chafer Grubs then lay dormant during the winter deep in the ground before moving to the surface the following spring to emerge as beetles in May / June and starting the process again. Control chafer grubs naturally by applying Nemasys® Chafer Grub Killer, which contains Heterorhabditis bacteriophora nematodes that kill chafer grubs, but are harmless to children, wildlife and pets and the lawn may be used immediately after application. Apply as follows :-
To find out more about treating Chafer Grubs - Click Here
Daddy long legs lay their eggs in the same area of lawn from which they emerge, so numbers increase rapidly. The eggs hatch in August / Sept and the larvae start to feed on the grass roots. The leatherjackets will feed though the autumn, before overwintering. They start feeding again the following spring before pupating to emerge as adults in August. Clouds of daddy long legs can be seen emerging from lawns in early morning leaving behind the casings sticking up in the lawn. As the daddy long legs emerge, they start to lay their eggs back in infected lawns starting the whole cycle again. Control leatherjackets naturally by applying Nemasys® Leatherjacket Killer containing millions of nematodes (Steinernema Feltiae) to the infected lawn. Nemasys® Leatherjacket Killer is effective at killing leatherjackets, but is harmless to children, wildlife and pets and the lawn may be used immediately after application. Apply as follows :-
To find out more about treating Leatherjackets - Click Here
|Repairing the lawn - Leatherjackets and Chafer Grubs attack the grass roots causing the grass to die PLUS birds, foxes, badgers etc. will make matters worse. To repair the lawn :-
Organic Lawn Fertilser - Organic lawn food is great value for money as you only need 3 applications a year unlike cheaper feeds which have to applied every 4-6 weeks and can therefore work out more expensive in the long run. Apply our Spring / Summer Fertiliser 2 times in the spring and summer and then apply a final application of the Autumn Fertiliser in Oct / November.
To find out more about treating Organic Lawn Fertiliser - Click Here
Pruning Roses and Organic Rose Products
Pruning Roses - Pruning seems difficult and fills gardeners with horror, but if you follow these simply guidelines it is easy to do.
|Pruning Roses - Remember you are unlikely to kill a rose through bad pruning, mistakes will normally grow out quickly and it is better to have a go at pruning rather than letting roses grow rampant. The aim of pruning is to take out old and diseased wood and to encourage new flowering shoots to grow. Aim to give the plant in a good shape with an open centre - an open centre lets light in and air to circulate, which cuts down on fungal problems by allowing the breeze to flow through the plant effectively. Create an open centre by pruning the plant into a goblet shape. Late February is generally agreed to be the best time to prune, but if it has been cold then delay until new growth is just starting. When pruning :-
Sulphur Rose - For blemish free roses the natural way apply Sulphur Rose. Roses are a gardener's favourite, but often develop yellow leaves and black blotches i.e Blackspot & Mildew, which makes the plants unsightly. Sulphur Rose is a brilliant plant tonic which is sprayed on and encourages healthy blemish-free growth. Spray Sulphur Rose throughout the year to encourage blemish free growth - Sulphur Rose MUST be applied to both the underside and top of all the leaves. Sulphur Rose - a 250g pack keeps 20 roses healthy for one season. :-
N.B. Sulphur Rose can be used on other plants (especially apples, cane fruits, dahlias, delphiniums, honeysuckle, phlox, pears, plums, clematis and grapes) which suffer from yellowing leaves and blemishes - simply spray both the underside and top of the foliage throughout the growing season at a rate of 10g per 4.5 litres of water.
To find out more about Sulphur Rose - Click Here
Organic Liquid Rose Feed - This organic rose food contains everything your roses need to keep them looking at their best naturally - a must for every rose grower. This organic feed contains nitrogen, phosphate and potash (3.1.5) in exactly the right quantities to keep your roses healthy and blooming. It also has trace elements that all plants need in small quantities - making this the complete rose feed. Being a liquid, the feed is instantly available to your roses and a 1 litre bottle will make up to 200 litres of feed so it’s great value for money. It can be used to feed roses indoors, in patio pots and of course roses growing in the garden. Apply every 2-4 weeks during the growing season.
Special Offer - Buy 250g of Sulphur Rose AND 1 litre of Organic Rose Feed for £24.99 saving £2.50
To find out more about Organic Rose Food - Click Here
RHS Top 10 Pests for 2013
|Every year the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) lists its top 10 pests from the previous year and it's great to see how many of these pests we have a natural solution for! Once again slugs and snails were the number 1 pest, while the no.1 glasshouse pest was red spider mite (which came in at no.6 overall).|
No.1 - Slugs and Snails - The RHS said “One of the wettest summers on record created the perfect mild, damp conditions for slugs and snails to thrive.” Green Gardener says - Control slugs NATURALLY by applying Nemaslug Slug Killer in the Spring to target the young slugs living underground BEFORE they have chance to damage new growth & breed. Don't worry if the temperature falls after you have applied it as Nemaslug® is capable of surviving a slight frost. Nemaslug® contains natural nematodes (Phasmarhabditis Hermaphrodita), which are effective at controlling slugs and unlike chemical controls, are safe for children, pets, birds and wildlife. The nematodes in Nemaslug® are found naturally in UK soil & have been approved for use in organic gardening by the Soil Association. Available NOW.
Nemaslug® and snails? We supply Nemaslug as a slug control, BUT many gardeners who use it regularly say it reduces snail numbers as well, but it does take longer.
To find out more about Nemaslug Slug Killer - Click Here
No.2 - Vine Weevil - The RHS said "Vine weevil is one of the few garden pests capable of killing plants - the adults eat notches in the leaves of a wide range of herbaceous plants, but it's the larvae feeding on plant roots, especially those grown in pots or containers, that prove terminal for plants." Green Gardener says - control vine weevils naturally by applying Nemasys® Vine Weevil Killer AS SOON grubs are discovered or apply when the grubs are at their most destructive i.e. Spring & Autumn.
Apply Nemasys® Vine Weevil Killer at least TWICE a year - Vine weevil grubs are 1cm long, creamy coloured & crescent- shaped with an orange head. These grubs spend the winter eating the roots of plants before emerging as adults in late spring to lay the next generation of eggs. It is important to apply Nemasys® in April (or as soon as grubs are discovered and the soil temperature is 5c) to stop these grubs maturing into adults & spreading the infestation around your garden. Nemasys® Vine Weevil Killer should then be applied in the autumn i.e. Sept / Oct to control any grubs which have resulted from eggs laid during the summer. Nemasys® contains natural nematodes, which are effective at controlling vine weevil grubs & unlike chemical controls, are safe for children, pets & wildlife.
To find out more about treating vine weevils with Nemasys Vine Weevil Killer - Click Here
|No.3 - Capsid Bugs - The RHS said "In 2013 enquiries reached the highest level for 25 years. Capsid bugs are highly destructive pests that suck sap from the shoot tips and flower buds of a wide range of herbaceous plants including hydrangea, fuchsia and rosa." Green Gardener says - Vegetables do not normally need treating as they are very resistant and unfortunately there isn't a chemical-free solution to this pest.
No.4 - Mice and Voles - The RHS said "Enquiries in 2012 hit a 24-year high. These small rodents pose a number of challenges to gardeners, for while the tunnelling activities of voles can disturb the roots of plants and disfigure lawns, they also gnaw the bark from the roots and stems of tree and shrubs. Mice can be a problem in storage areas and in the garden they take fruit and chew off seedlings." Green Gardener says - Use our Organic Rat and Mouse Repellent Powder to keep them out of sheds / outhouses.
No.5 - Cushion Scale (pictured left) - This sap-sucking insect occurs on evergreen shrubs, especially camellia, holly, rhododendron & trachleospermum. It excretes honeydew and infested plants develop a thick black coating of sooty mould on their foliage. Green Gardener says - use SB Invigorator early in the season and then treat with nematodes once it is warm enough.
No.6 - Red Spider MIte (pictured left) - The no.1 greenhouse pest, Red Spider Mite causes leaves to turn yellow and die, but left unchecked the whole plant can be killed. As numbers increase, webs are produced. Green Gardener says - introduce Ambleyseius Andersonni early in the season i.e. NOW, but once warm enough use Phytoseiulus.
No.7 - Mealybug - These sap-sucking insects attack plants grown in houses, glasshouses and conservatories. They frequently infest leaf axils, produce white, waxy secretions and are difficult to control with pesticides. Green Gardener says - use SB Invigorator natural spray and Cryptolaemus to control this difficult pest.
No.8 - NEW Plum Moth - The RHS said "The biggest surprise of the 2013 list was the appearance of plum moths for the 1st time. The small, pink caterpillars of the plum moth feed inside the ripening fruits of plums, damsons and greengages." Green Gardener says - Stop plum moth ruining your fruit by hanging a plum moth trap in your fruit trees in the spring. These simple and easy to use traps contain a pheremone-laced lure, which attracts the male moths and traps them before fertilising the females, so no eggs are produced. Hang 1 trap per 5 trees.
No.9 - Ants - Ants tend to be most abundant in sunny gardens with well-drained soils. They cause little direct damage to plants but the soil excavated from their nests can be a nuisance in lawns, on patios and in flower beds. Green Gardener says - treat with Nemasys No Ants when the ants are present and soil temp is 10c (normally mid April).
No.10 - Lily Beetle - Lily Beetle is very destructive to lilies and fritillaries. Green Gardener says - Control both Lily and Viburnum Beetle by spraying with this natural Lily Beetle Spray based on pyrethrum - natures own insecticide. This spray can also be used to control Raspberry Beetle, Greenfly and Blackfly, Whitefly and Flea Beetle.
To find out more about treating Mealy Bug - CLICK HERE