Category Archives: Pests, Diseases & Problems

How to Make Borax Ant Bait for Indoor and Outdoor Use

Ants can be a major pest in the garden because they ‘farm’ aphids and scale – they safeguard them in their nests over winter, then bring them out in spring and carry them onto the new plant growth, then collect … Continue reading

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Why Are My Cabbages Not Forming Heads?

When cabbages are first planted they initially produce lots of large broad leaves, but in the latter part of their growing season the inner leaves at the centre of the plant begin curling inwards and cupping around a short-thick stem, … Continue reading

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Companion Planting with Land Cress for Natural Caterpillar Control

Land Cress (Barbarea vulgaris) and American Upland Cress (Barbarea verna) are biennial, edible leafy-green vegetables from the Brassicaceae (cabbage) family. The young leaves, which are spicy in flavour, are often used as a substitute for watercress in dishes, and can … Continue reading

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What Are the Small Flies in Compost Bins and Are They a Problem?

  Many gardeners are familiar with the experience of  lifting the lid off a compost bin and seeing a cloud of small flies rise into the air in front of them. These little flies are vinegar flies or drosophila, and … Continue reading

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Are Woody Galls on Citrus Tree Trunks Harmful?

  Citrus vein enation (CVEV), also known as woody gall, is a viral disease which affects various lemon and lime trees and citrus rootstocks. This disease is caused by the CVE virus, a luteovirus which is transmitted by aphids, including … Continue reading

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Tomato Lower Leaves Yellowing and Dropping with Leaf Loss Moving Upwards

Tomatoes grow well during warmer weather, and that is expected since they are subtropical plants native to western South America and Central America. In cool to temperate climates tomatoes are grown as annuals, since they start to decline as temperatures … Continue reading

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Plant Diseases – White or Tan Spots on Brassica Leaves

White leaf spot is a fungal disease of cruciferous vegetables (brassicas) caused by the pathogen Mycosphaerella capsellae, which is also known as Pseudocercosporella capsellae. The distribution of this disease pathogen is worldwide, it can be found in many countries with … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Citrus Fruit Has Thick Peel and Hollow Core

Nutrient imbalances and deficiencies can adversely affect the quality of citrus fruit. Excess nitrogen combined with low phosphorus will cause citrus fruit to be misshapen, with thick peel, a coarse and roughly textured rind, coarse pulpy flesh without much juice, … Continue reading

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Why Is My Aloe Vera Plant Turning Yellow and Brown?

Aloe vera is a hardy, succulent, semi-tropical plant native to North Africa and the SW Arabian Peninsula, which can tolerate quite harsh conditions. It will grow in poor soils in hot, dry sunny  locations with very little water, but can … Continue reading

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How to Control Queensland Fruit Fly in the Home Garden, An Integrated Pest Management Approach

(Image credit – source image from NSW Department of Primary Industries, modified and edited by Deep Green Permaculture) Queensland fruit fly or Qfly (Bactrocera tryoni) is one of the most damaging pests of fruit and vegetables in Australia. This insect … Continue reading

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Winter Pest and Disease Control with Lime Sulphur

Winter is the traditional time to prune and spray deciduous fruit trees and vines. Spraying is carried out at this time to eliminate pests and diseases which can overwinter and emerge in spring. Two separate treatments are usually employed in … Continue reading

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What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

The problem of garden pest control is as old as agriculture itself, which started when humanity first cultivated plants for food more than ten thousand years ago. Modern conventional pest control methods often use chemical controls as the first option, … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Why Citrus Fruit Drops and Flowers Fail to Develop

Is your citrus tree dropping its fruit before they reach full size, or even worse, dropping the flowers before fruit even begin to form? Trees photosynthesise to produce carbohydrates such as sugars which they store as their energy source. They … Continue reading

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Apple Tree Problems – Sun Scald

Sun scald is not a disease, but damage caused to apples and many other fruit, caused by high temperatures and strong sunlight in summer. Typically, sun scald damage appear on sun-exposed side, which is usually towards the direction of the … Continue reading

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Citrus Nutrient Deficiency – Yellow Leaves

If leaves are yellowing on a citrus tree, it may be a sign of nutrient deficiency, but it may not be, depending on which leaves are yellowing. Older leaves yellowing are quite normal as long as it’s only happening to … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Why Is My Citrus Tree Dying?

Why do apparently healthy looking citrus trees suddenly start deteriorating in a matter of days, with leaves curling then dropping, branches dying back, eventually resulting in the loss of the tree? There are several causes, often caused by common gardening … Continue reading

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Horticultural Glues and Tree Banding Trees to Controls Ants and Other Pests

Glue-banding of tree trunks is an effective technique for controlling various pests of fruit trees. A waterproof band covered in horticultural glue, an aggressive long-lasting adhesive, is wrapped around the trunk of the tree to create a sticky barrier which … Continue reading

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Apple Tree Diseases – Crown Gall

Crown gall is a bacterial disease caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens (syn. Rhizobium radiobacter), which produces tumour-like swellings on the bark of trees and plants. It can infect a wide range of dicotyledonous (broad-leaved) plants, particularly members of the Rosaceae (rose) … Continue reading

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Organic Control of Curl Grubs in Lawn

Curl Grub larvae (credits – CSIRO Australia scienceimage) If you’ve ever been digging in the garden and discovered plump, pale coloured grubs beneath the soil that curl up into a “C” shape when disturbed, these are Curl Grubs. Curl grubs … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Why Citrus Fruit Splitting Occurs and How To Prevent It

Various cultivars of Navel and Valencia oranges, mandarins and mandarin hybrids are prone to fruit splitting, a pre-harvest physiological rind disorder. Gardeners often wonder if this phenomenon is caused by a nutrient deficiency. Actually, there’s another cause, but plant nutrition … Continue reading

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