Chemicals

If you use chemicals in your garden it's vital to do so correctly, following the manufacturer's instructions. We'll help show you how

Spraying chemicals

See our advice on what to bear in mind when using chemicals in your garden.

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  • Dog lichen, Peltigera canina, on a lawn. Image: RHS

    Algae, lichens and liverworts on lawns

    Lawns in damp or poorly drained conditions can suffer from unsightly problems such as cyanobacteria (an algae-like growth), dog lichen and liverworts. Cyanobacteria in particular can make the lawn very slippery.

  • Algae on paths can make them slippery. Image: John Trentholm/RHS

    Algae, lichens, liverworts and moss on hard surfaces

    It is common to find growths such as algae, lichens, liverworts and moss growing on hard surfaces. Contrary to popular belief, they do not damage what they are growing on, but can cause patios, drives, paths and steps to become slippery.

  • Algae and moss in a greenhouse. Credit: RHS Advisory

    Algae, liverworts and moss on greenhouses

    Green growths such as algae, liverworts and moss can accumulate on the glazing and surfaces of greenhouses, where they are unsightly and cut out light. They can be controlled by improving hygiene and ventilation.

  • Starting an allotment

    Allotment: getting started

    Finding an allotment and readying it for cultivation can seem a daunting task, but with these simple steps a productive plot is easier than you might think.

  • Antirrhinum rust. Image: RHS, Horticultural Science

    Antirrhinum rust

    Antirrhinum rust is the most serious disease of antirrhinums (snapdragons). It is a fungal disease that causes dark brown spots on the undersides of leaves. Severely affected leaves shrivel and may die.

  • Mottled arum aphid on dahlia

    Aphids

    Aphids are very common sap-sucking insects that can cause a lack of plant vigour, distorted growth and often excrete a sticky substance (honeydew) on foliage which allows the growth of sooty moulds. Some aphids transmit plant viruses which can be a problem on strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, dahlias, tulips, sweet peas and many other plants. 

  • Apple canker. Image: RHS, Horticultural Science

    Apple canker

    Apple canker is a fungal disease causing disfiguring and sunken patches of dead bark on the branches of apple and some other trees. Infections often begin at wounds or buds.

  • Apple scab. Image: RHS, Horticultural Science

    Apple scab and pear scab

    Apple scab and pear scab are two fungal diseases that cause dark, scabby marks on the fruit and leaves of apples, pears and some other ornamental fruits. They are so similar that they are dealt with in the same way.

  • Bacterial canker. Image: RHS, Horticultural Science

    Bacterial canker

    Bacterial canker is a disease of the stems and leaves of Prunus, especially plums and cherries, but also apricots, peaches and ornamental Prunus species. It causes sunken patches of dead bark and small holes in leaves, called ‘shothole’.

  • Bindweed

    Bindweed

    Hedge bindweed or bellbind (Calystegia sepium) with its pure white trumpet flowers is a familiar sight, choking plants in borders and twining around any plant shoot or cane. The smaller field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) with white or pink flowers is problematic in long grass and bare soil.

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