Top pests to combat this summer and how the organic way

The Guava Moth

With Guava moth rife in many gardens, I recently shared a very good article on my Facebook page on this pest. Discover it here, as it offers a really good description of this moth and how to handle it and the life cycle of the moth.

Personally, I have found it to be less on the plums this year and, from reading the article, it seems that one of the worst hosts for this bug is the Loquat tree, so be mindful of this if you have some growing near other fruit trees.

For more helpful hints on how to tackle the rampant guava moth, see one of my earlier blogs here.

Woolly aphids, black aphids and scale

The pests that seem rife in my part of the country are woolly aphids, scale and black aphids. The citrus trees seem to be inundated by these and are slowly sucking the life out of the trees.

Recently I visited a garden that had all three of these pests of the one tree!

Trying to wipe out these pests requires a continuing commitment. Some of you may be thinking ‘just give them a spray and that is the end of it’. This is not necessarily true. An oil spray is good to smother the bugs and their eggs and to release the scale from the stems and the leaves. However, remember that they don’t just drop off – you will need to wipe the tree to remove these pests and to find out which ones are still attached.

Continue to spray on a regular basis – spray the air first, then underneath the leaves and up and down the trunk. If the scale don’t slide off, they are still alive and ants are attracted to their sugar secretion.

Make sure your plants have enough moisture in the soil and are healthy, with enough food. This in turn will aid for a quick recovery in your plants. The reason for spraying the air first is to catch the whitefly that will immediately fly upwards with any movement of the plants or leaves. If you are on tank water like me I have found the best thing is to catch the shower water and use this on your fruit trees and vegetable plants. Remember healthy soil is the key.

How to protect your plants

Using Bokashi in the soil helps retain moisture and gives your plants plenty of food. Remember to side dress your tomatoes with potash and to keep feeding your plants with the banana skin recipe I shared in a recent blog.

I tend to not plant anything more in the garden at this time of year, as it will struggle to get a good start with the intense heat we are getting at the moment. If you live in an area where there have been low temperatures and extreme wind and rain, your vegetable garden could be late in producing fruit due to climatic conditions.

Nip the growing points off the tops of your tomatoes to help the fruit to ripen and to stop the energy going into the growing points – this can also be a great thing to do for your pumpkins and melons. Once you have enough fruit, count up two growing sections of the plant and nip the growing point off. This will transfer the energy into growing and ripening the fruit on these plants.

Be vigilant of your plants and check regularly – this way, you will spot pests and disease early and if your plants are beyond help, pull them out and dispose of them so as to prevent these diseases spreading elsewhere.

Happy gardening

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