Page 26 - Simply Vegetables Winter 2020/21
P. 26

                                 Pear ‘Beurre Hardy’ archway
pests and prevent diseases by looking after your fruit and conditions that encourage them must be avoided. Garden hygiene
is absolutely critical and it can really make the difference in helping to win the organic battle. Good garden hygiene includes ensuring that fallen and decaying leaves and fallen or damaged fruit are removed. Who knows what can be hiding under a pile of leaves or what fungus spores decaying leaves and damaged fruit are carrying? For example, apple scab overwinters on fallen
leaves, codling moth caterpillars live in fallen apples and pear midge grubs live in fallen fruitlets.
When it comes to the successful management of pests and diseases in the organic garden vigilance is an important aspect of good control as early notice of visible pests and diseases can often stop them spreading. Aphids - whatever colour they may be (and including woolly aphids), can be wiped off by hand or washed off by a jet of water, caterpillars
eating away at leaves, most
commonly gooseberries and
redcurrants, can be picked
off by hand and the same
applies to slugs and snails
attacking strawberries. Pear
midge causes the small black
pear fruitlets which eventually
fall off the tree - these should
be removed as soon as they
are noticed along with any
that are on the ground and
should be destroyed. The
round, fat buds found on
blackcurrants is caused by
the blackcurrant big bud mite and should be picked off and destroyed.
There are other pests which can be controlled without the use of chemicals. Codling moth which burrows into apples can be controlled with the use of pheromone traps as can the plum tree fruit moth. These traps are widely available. Winter moths climb trees in late autumn in order to lay their eggs; these can be simply controlled by the use of paper impregnated with grease
placed around the tree trunk or a layer of grease applied directly to the trunk itself.
Some fruit pests can be controlled by the use of predators. The two spotted spider mite which can be a troublesome pest of strawberries, raspberries and peaches can be controlled by the predator phytoseiulus persimilis and more may become available in the future to control other troublesome pests.
Diseases often only affect parts of a fruit tree or bush and the
spread of this disease
can, in many cases, be controlled by cutting or removing out the affected parts. Dieback can affect many plants, particularly currants, gooseberries and plums which can cause whole branches to die.
Cut back to healthy wood
as soon as the dieback is noticed and destroy the diseased wood. Shoots
and branches can become damaged by weather, weight
of fruit or birds sitting on them! As soon as this damage is noticed the shoot or branch should be cut back to undamaged wood to ensure that disease cannot enter - this is particularly important on the stone fruits.
Mildew in apples and gooseberries usually affects blossom and young shoots - cut
off the affected shoots and blossoms and destroy as soon as possible. Mouldy fruits and rotten fruits affect all fruit plants and trees and should be removed as soon as
  Brown rot on pear
26 Simply Vegetables
Good garden hygiene includes ensuring that fallen and decaying leaves and fallen or damaged fruit are removed

   24   25   26   27   28