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Browse all our advice on plant problems
Search our A - Z directory to find out expert advice on all your plant problems.
Plants often require protecting from pests, diseases and competitive weeds. Consider non-chemical solutions first, but if a chemical control is used, follow the instructions accurately to ensure that people, pets and the wider environment are kept safe.
As well as choosing products that will actually kill the weeds you have, it is worth remembering that there are different formulations. For example, ready-to-use spray guns are ideal for killing a few weeds in a patio, whereas a bottle of concentrate that you mix up is more economical for a large border. Here we explain the choices.
Non-chemical means of control are always the first choice for gardeners. But when other means fail, pesticides may be appropriate in tackling some pests, diseases and weed problems.
Acid cherries tolerate some shade, so are a good choice for a north-facing site or wall. They are self-fertile and do not need another tree to act as a pollinator. The fruits are too acid to eat raw, but are excellent when cooked and make very good jam.
Sweet cherries are usually grown as small open trees or trained as fans against walls or fences. They are too vigorous to be trained as espaliers or cordons. They can be grown in large containers, and self-fertile cultivars will fruit without a pollination partner.
Cherry blackfly can cause distorted foliage on cherries, this is unsightly but does not stop cherry trees from flowering or bearing fruit.
In some seasons, sweet cherries loose much of their fruit before it ripens. This loss is called cherry fruit drop or run off and, in severe cases, it can lead to an almost total failure of the crop.
Both ornamental and edible cherry trees can suffer from the foliar diseases known as leaf scorch and leaf spot. These lead to unsightly yellow or brown leaves.
Chestnut blight was confirmed on European sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) for the first time in the UK in 2011. Recent findings (2016) in Devon, Dorset and Kent highlight the continued threat posed by the pathogen. In the UK, the fungus is a notifiable pathogen and suspected cases of the disease must be reported to the relevant plant health authority.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a familiar sight in many gardens. With large quantities of seed produced throughout the year, this common annual weed can become a real nuisance in beds and borders.
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