Paul Patton: Bugs & Beasties
At our monthly meeting on June 12th we were sorry to hear that one of our favourite speakers, John Negus, had recently undergone heart by-pass surgery and was taking a well–earned rest. John is always in great demand to speak throughout the South and on the Radio Sussex Dig It programme. However, John took care to arrange for a colleague, Paul Patton, to take his place.
Paul describes himself as a Plant Pathologist, Writer and Broadcaster. He can also be heard on ‘Dig It’. Paul gives talks on a wide variety of gardening topics. His talk on “Bugs & Beasties “was chosen for our June meeting as it was thought to be particularly relevant at this time of the year. He talked about methods of controlling pests, diseases and weeds including cultural, biological, and chemical methods.
He said that healthy plants having the correct amount of light, water, temperature, and nutrients would be most able to withstand attacks by pests and diseases. His talk helpfully included photographs illustrating his points, which included:
· Young plants need particular attention.
· Spraying with chemicals such as Rose clear and Bug clear should be carried out at before infestation occurs; prevention is better than cure.
· Hygiene is important ie wash your hands after being in contact with pests.
· It is particularly important to look underneath the leaves when spraying.
· For some pests Nematodes are useful and mycorrhizal fungi can be helpful in some difficult soils.
· For weeds in lawns Verdone is useful and for moss use ferrous sulphate in the autumn.