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Plantland Home & Garden

Prince George, BC, Canada

Gardening Tips

What you Need to Know When You Don't Have a Green Thumb

Keeping your Garden Healthy

Aphids

The gardening and growing season is well on its way. There are gardeners already enjoying vegetables such as radishes, spinach and lettuce from their garden. For the most part, everything is doing well. There are a few things to watch for and some gardening chores that should be done to ensure a healthy, beautiful yard and garden.

  • Aspen leaf miner on aspen (popular) trees has been a concern in our area. You will notice that the leaves on the tree take on a silvery colour and when you look closer at the leave it has squiggly lines that run through the leave. This is caused by the larvae that bores its way through the leave between the upper and lower leaf surfaces. Leaf miner will not kill the tree, but it can slow down the growth of the tree and lead to premature leaf drop.There is nothing that can be done now to get rid of the problem. You want to keep the tree as healthy as possible by fertilizing it and keeping it well watered. To help control the problem for the future, rake up and destroy the infected leaves.
  • Sawflies have been found on deciduous trees and shrubs such as currants, raspberries etc. There are different types of sawfly but generally the larvae look similar to caterpillars and they feed on the foliage of the plant. If there is only a mild infestation it will take away from the attractiveness of the plant, but a serious infestation could seriously harm the plant. Treat plants infected by sawfly, with an application of ‘Sevin’ or ‘Ambush’, following the manufacturers instructions.

Aphids are sap sucking, soft bodied insects that are found on the stems, undersides of leaves and on new plant growth. If left unchecked they will harm the plant as they suck out important nutrients that the plant needs to grow and stay healthy. Aphids multiply quickly, so you want to control them as soon as they are noticed. They often leave a sticky honeydew substance that attracts ants as they feed on it. Aphids can be controlled by spraying them off the plant with a strong blast of water, using insecticidal soap, or using a chemical product.

  • Remove the finished flowers on early flowering shrubs such as lilacs, before they form seed pods, to keep them looking neat and tidy, and to promote flower production for next year. Lilacs start to produce buds for next years flowers soon after they have finished blooming. Remove the finished flower just above the first set of lateral buds. This would also be the time to prune all early flowering shrubs, if it needs to be pruned.
  • Keep up on the weeding, fertilizing and check plants on a weekly basis for any problems as you want to catch any problem early so that it is easy to fix. Remove finished flowers on annuals to promote new flower production.