Are you beginning to see signs of unwanted pests in your plants? June seems to be the time of year when insects and diseases make their first grand appearance in the garden. Here is a list of some of the problems you might be encountering now and the solutions we recommend to keep your hard work green and blooming!
Small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant juices. They attack leaves, stems, and flowers and multiply very quickly so infestations can rapidly get out of control. Aphids love to hide in new growth because it is especially succulent so be sure to check the underside of leaves. Infected parts will curl, develop contorted and stunted buds, yellow, and become sticky with aphid “sap.”
Solutions: Neem oil, insecticidal soaps, horticultural oil, and Triple Action have proven to be effective in controlling aphids. Be sure to follow the application instructions provided on the packaging.
There are many species of flea beetle which attack different plants but you will see the majority of these jumping insects on vegetable crops. The beetles are small and shiny with large back legs and can vary in color and patterning. The eggs are laid at the base of a plant in early summer and the larva feed on the roots. The adult beetles emerge from the soil and attack the foliage of the plant. New leaves are usually damaged first, and they will have a lacy appearance. Besides feeding on your plants, flea beetles spread fungal and bacterial diseases from plant to plant.
Solutions: Safer Yard and Garden, neem oil, diatomaceous earth.
Small insect with metallic heads and copper backs. They begin feeding in June and attack plants in groups so damage can be severe. They eat a wide variety of plants but their favorite plants include roses, beans, grapes, and raspberries. Your rose leaves will look “skeletonized” if you have an infestation. Japanese beetle grubs overwinter in soil and can cause damage to the roots of lawn grass as well as garden plants.
Solutions: Safer Yard and Garden, neem oil, Triple Action.
Most garden slugs and snails are gray to dark brown and around an inch long. They will hide in dark, damp places during the day and come out to feed only at night. Their populations can grow rapidly in cool and moist conditions since they lay their eggs in moist soil or compost. Slugs and snails eat almost anything in the garden and the damage is identifiable by the large irregularly shaped holes in foliage.
Solutions: If you need a slug repellent to keep slugs away from tender plants, circle them with diatomaceous earth.
Many dusts or sprays are highly toxic to honeybees. If application of these materials to plants is necessary during the bloom period, do not apply during hours when bees are visiting the flowers.
Solutions for fungal diseases:
Good cultivation practices are important. Fungal spores need a wet surface to germinate so keep plant matter as dry as possible. Do not use overhead watering, or if you do, water early in the day so the foliage is dry by nighttime. Prune plants to allow more air circulation and facilitate the drying of foliage. Some chemical products you can use are Copper Fungicides (copper fungicide soap is best for veggie blight), Triple Action, and Sulphur Dust…
A highly destructive bacterial disease. Pear, quince, apple, crabapple, and pyracantha are extremely susceptible. There is no cure for fire blight but sometimes you can successfully prune a tree before the disease kills it.
This is a excellent resource for fire blight questions:
Colorado State University Extension Office fire blight fact sheet
Blossom-end rot is caused by calcium deficiency in the plant. While this may be a result of low calcium levels in the soil, it is often the result of irregular watering. Symptoms occur at the blossom end of the developing fruit. Initially, a small watery rotted spot appears, which grows and darkens quickly as the fruit develops. The rot can eventually cover up to half of the entire fruit surface and will turn black and leathery. The disease doesn’t spread from fruit to fruit because it is environmental in nature so fungicides and insecticides are useless.
Blossom-end rot can be controlled through regular watering practices and maintaining the supply of calcium to the developing fruits. Hi-Yield is a product we recommend for blossom-end rot problems.