Gardeners across Shropshire and Mid Wales are being advised to keep a close watch on their roses for aphids following a mild winter and spring.
The advice comes from Tim Robinson, manager of Love Plants, a specialist plants centre at caravan and motorhome dealership Salop Leisure’s Shrewsbury headquarters.
“The secret with aphids is to catch them early before they get established,” he said. “Aphids will produce 30 baby every day so the population grows quickly. There are a lot of aphids around in May because we had such a mild winter and spring.”
He advises against treating roses with pesticides, as aphids often develop a resistance to the chemicals if not treated thoroughly. Instead, he recommended an organic product comprising fatty acids which is more effective at smothering the aphids.
Mr Robinson also advised gardeners to ensure that they have applied a top dressing of feed for roses and to begin a monthly spraying programmes to stop fungal diseases.
Now that the risk of frost has passed, he says it’s time to plant out summer bedding and he advises gardeners with hanging baskets and containers to ensure that they contain water retaining granules.
He revealed that the Love Plants team had received many reports in the past month of plants showing signs of distress due to a lack of water following the dry spring weather.
“Even well established, mature plants can die due to lack of water because the water table under the soil drops and even deep-rooted plants will not get enough water to support the foliage,” he added. “My advice to gardeners is to save as much rainwater as they can to water their plants.”
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