How Plants Grow

Plant Environment

Soil Fundamentals

A Good Planter
Flower Garden


Plant Fundamentals
Plant Care
Garden Design
Vegetable Garden
Gardening Gourmet
Garden Plant diseases symptoms and remedies
1. Leaves with Holes
2. Dis-coloured Leaves
3. Leaves Distorted.
4. Shoots eaten or Distorted
5. Wilted Shoots
Garden Pests, Diseases & Disorders.
Pests are animals, varying in size from microscopic eelworm to majestic deer, which attack  plants. The general term insect includes the smaller pests-mites, millipedes, slugs, woodlice and true insects.
Diseases are plant troubles caused by living organisms which are transmitted from one plant to another. Fungal diseases are the most common. Others are caused by bacteria and viruses.
Disorders are plant troubles which have disease like symptoms but which are not due to living organisms. Unlike diseases they are caused and are not caught. Common causes are water logging, drought and starvation.
Weeds are plants growing in a  place where you do not want them to be. So it is location rather than plant type which makes a plant a weed. Self sown annuals in a rose bed could be weeds, whereas  dandelions in a wild garden may not be.
In large gardens and small, whether cultivated by the expert or the novice, things are bound to go wrong. In spite of claims to the contrary it is not possible to keep pests, diseases and disorders away from your garden by good cultivation alone. Of course, expert gardeners suffer far less than the novice gardener because their well grown plants are better equipped to resist disease as well as knowing how and when to take preventative measures once trouble begins .
If you are not an expert you will need help, and that is not easy to come by. Most gardening books hide the few pages titled pests and diseases towards the end. The pest charts tend to be incomplete and undescriptive. Gardening magazines, forums and chemical companies    are normally willing to help but you have to wait for the reply and they are not able to see your plants. Visiting the sick garden is essential and so you have to become your own garden doctor. Hopefully, the following pages will help.
       Flowers are the mainstay of most gardens, the non-shrubby plants grown for the beauty of their blooms rather than their foliage. Included are rockery plants, bulbs annual bedding plants and herbaceous border plants together with the specialist plants such as chrysanthemums and dahlias. Pests, diseases and disorders are all important.
Perennials, Dahlias & Chrysanthemums.
Dahlias  and chrysanthemums  are often painstakingly grown  by experienced  gardeners.  For  the majority of gardeners,  both experienced  and beginner  alike,  the herbaceous  border is frequently the largest expanse of flowers  in the garden. Obviously  the proper care  of these groups of plants  is most important. Thorough  soil preparation  is  vital,  and enrichment  with organic  matter and fertilizer  before planting  is essential. Other  golden  rules are: Plant properly:  Remember to add  moist peat to the soil.
  • Avoid overcrowding:  An impenetrable  jungle of  plants  is unattractive and a prime target  for powdery  mildew  and other diseases.  The answer  is  to plant  at the recommended  distance  and to divide the clumps every three years; peonies are an exception-they should be left undisturbed.
Spring-flowering plants
Divide in early summer
Summer-flowering plants
Divide in autumn
Autumn-flowering  plants
Divide in March
  • Learn the art of staking.  So many herbaceous borders  are ruined by prominent stakes  and tightly  bound stems. The secret  is to begin this work before  it is necessary.  lf the plant has  many  stems use twiggy branches  or a ring of thin canes bound  by twine.  lf put into place early  the subsequent growth  will hide  the support.
  • Remove  dead  blooms.  Early-flowering  types will often produce  a second  flush of flowers.
  • Feed  properly.  Use a liquid fertilizer  during the growing  season
  • Spray  with Fillip if growth  is slow.
Rockery Plants
A well-made rockery  is a joy, but it is not easy to achieve.  Choose  the site with care-alpines  will not succeed  under trees and good drainage  is vital.
Never  fill the pockets  with  heavy soil; use a mixture of good soil, peat and grit. Aim for a level, not sloping, soil surface  between  the rocks.
Remove weeds  before they become a  nuisance. Sprinkle  chippings  round  the plants. Cut back  plants which  start to spread and look untidy:  this is a vital annual  job with quick-growing varieties such  as aubrietia , alyssum, arabis,  saponaria and cerastium.
In autumn remove the dead leaves which collect between  the rocks and protect delicate specimens with small pieces of glass.
It is easy  to get a fine display from top quality shop-bought  bulbs,  even  if you have  never had  a garden before. Provided that you Plant  at the right time and at the right  depth  (planting too closely to the surface  can produce  all leaf and no flowers)  then you should obtain a colourful  show. All of the difficulty is involved  in making  sure that you continue to have a fine display year after year.
 To do so you must watch the following  points: The leaves of spring bulbs must be yellowed  and withered before  they  are removed. Lift hyacinths and large-flowering tulips  at this  stage every year. Keep  the largest bulbs for next year's display and  plant  the smaller  ones  in an out-of-the-way spot, so that they  can  grow for a couple of seasons  to become  top-sized  bulbs.
Don't lift daffodils, crocuses  etc. every year. When daffodils start to produce  excessive  leaf and just a few flowers  lift them after the foliage has  withered then treat as  hyacinths and  tulips above. Never  store  or plant unsound  bulbs.
Bedding Plants
Good-quality seedlings  are vital, so buy and grow  with care.  Avoid planting  in shady conditions.  Under  trees  there  are additional problems -food shortage, water  shortage and honeydew  dripping from the leaves.  The all-too-common result  is foliage blackened by sooty mould  and  small flowers growing  on elongated  stems. lf you must  grow annuals  under trees choose  dwarf shade-tolerant bedding plants  such as begonia semperflorens.  Regular  dead-heading  is important  to prolong flowering  and regular  feeding is necessary to ensure a prolific display.  Feed  little and  often: flowering  plants need nitrogen to ensure active  stem and leaf growth, but this nutrient  should always  be balanced  by an equal  or greater  amount of potash.  The best plan is to water  regularly  with a complete Iiquid fertilizer such  as Bio Plant Food.
    Flower Care
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