Pesky pests and dastardly diseases

There’s nothing more frustrating than investing so much time into the garden only for it to be destroyed by disease or pests. Luckily, something can be done about these gardening nightmares and we are here to help!
Read on for advice on some of the most common pests and diseases.

Pesky Pests
Prevention is key, so make sure you choose plants that will be suitable, for example, if you know deer frequent your garden, then choose a plant that is deer resistant, such as Lavender or Foxgloves.

Slugs and snails
Slugs and snails can often cause havoc in the garden, but you may be surprised that they can be fussy eaters. They dislike plants that are hairy, waxy or tough as this causes difficulty for these lazy eaters. They also dislike heavily scented plants. Try applying a layer of crushed eggshells at the base of the plant or apply a mulch with seaweed, salt or sharp grit to stop slugs and snails.

 Deer will munch away on plants overnight, stripping plants of their foliage, bark and flowers. To prevent deer coming into your garden, erect physical barriers such as netting or fencing which will need to be strong and secure, as deer are able to squeeze through tight gaps.

Rabbits are often attracted to new plants, shrubs and trees, often feeding on them overnight. Try fencing or netting to prevent them from getting into your garden. If you suspect that rabbits are living in your garden, you may wish to remove tall grasses and low growing shrubs where rabbits will live.

Dastardly Diseases
Just as with pests, disease prevention is also key. This includes watering plants in the morning, keeping tools sanitized if a plant is infected so the disease doesn’t spread and maintaining the plants optimum health by feeding and watering them regularly.

Powdery Mildew
Powdery mildews are fungi that can affect various plants. It can be identified by the white and powdery patches of fungus that appear on the plant’s flowers, leaves and fruits.

If you spot powdery mildew, destroy the affected foliage immediately, water well and apply a generous layer of mulch to retain the plants moisture levels.

Another very common fungal disease for garden plants is rust. It can be identified by spots, usually found on the lower leaf surface, called pustules, which are can be orange, yellow, brown, black, white or a rusty colour (hence the disease’s name).

If you find rust on your plants, then be sure to remove all dead and diseased plant material at the end of the growing season. Avoid giving the plant nitrogen fertilizer as this can result in soft foliage that is more prone to rust. 

Leaf Spot
Leaf spot can be identified by brown or black spots on the leaves, as the name suggests. Leaf spot can be either fungal or bacterial but both types are more common when the climate is moist and warm. The disease can spread quickly, and leaves will drop off as a result.
To treat leaf spot, remove the diseased leaves and dispose of them as soon as you see them, then disinfect your cutting tools so that the disease does not spread to other plants.  Make sure that the plants have good air circulation and make sure plants are not too close together. 

You can read more about pests and diseases on our website, where we have an extensive list. Take a look at

Happy gardening Haylofters!


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