Category Archives: Pests, Diseases & Problems

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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Apple Tree Diseases and Planting Location

Apple trees branches covered in patches of white, woolly fuzz? What you’re seeing is a  woolly aphid infestation . These pests can be controlled by spraying a few applications of horticultural oil spray (preferably a natural oil based product rather … Continue reading

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Citrus Nutrient Deficiency – Yellow Leaf with Green Veins

One of the most common nutrient deficiencies seen on citrus is the yellowing of the leaf with dark green veins. Yellow leaves with dark green veins on older leaves indicates magnesium deficiency, and is corrected using Epsom salts (Magnesium sulphate). … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – Citrus Yellow Veins on Green Leaf in Winter

Are your citrus leaves turning green with yellow veins in winter? When gardeners see this colour change in their citrus leaves, they often wonder if this is due to a nutrient deficiency, and if so, what they can do to … Continue reading

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How to Kill a Tree Stump Without Poisonous Chemicals

(Image source: Childzy, Wikimedia Commons) Sometimes we need to cut down trees to remove them, but chopping trees down to the ground does not stop them putting out new growth from the stump or from the roots and eventually turning … Continue reading

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Weeding Without Chemicals or Digging

Weeds growing on path and driveways, though crack or gaps in concrete and paving, or in empty garden beds are very easily taken care of without chemicals or digging. How is that possible you may ask? Go put the kettle … Continue reading

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Citrus Problems – How to Control Citrus Gall Wasp, Methods That Work

  What are Citrus Galls? Citrus galls are unsightly swellings caused by a tiny female citrus gall wasp (Bruchophagus fellis) which lays her eggs in the soft new growth of citrus trees in spring. As the new growth hardens off, … Continue reading

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Netting Fruit Trees and Berries for Pest Control

Natural pest control techniques such as companion planting can control most of your small garden pests such as insects, but what can gardeners do about birds and animals? The seasonal event of birds and other critters stripping fruit trees clean … Continue reading

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