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  • Chemicals can be safely used in the garden by following a few common sense guidelines. Image: John Trentholm/RHS

    Chemicals: using safely and effectively

    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.

  • Using a spot treatment for weeds. Credit:RHS/Advisory.

    Chemicals: using spot and broad-scale weedkillers

    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.

  • Chemicals: using them in gardens

    Chemicals: using them in gardens

    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 cherry. Image: RHS

    Cherries: acid

    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 cherry. Image: RHS

    Cherries: sweet

    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 (Myzus cerasi) on Cherry (Prunus sp.). Credit: RHS/Entomology.

    Cherry blackfly

    Cherry blackfly can cause distorted foliage on cherries, this is unsightly but does not stop cherry trees from flowering or bearing fruit.

  • cherry run off

    Cherry fruit drop

    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.

  • cherry leaf scorch

    Cherry leaf scorch and leaf spot

    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. Credit: Forestry Commission Picture Library

    Chestnut blight

    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.

  • © RHS WSYD0012466


    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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