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RHS issues advice to help gardeners

10 August 2012
RHS issues advice to help gardeners

The RHS has issued advice to help gardeners deal with fungal and bacterial diseases following the recent warm, wet weather. According to the charity’s Advisory Service there has been a surge in fungal and bacterial diseases which can threaten crops of fruit and vegetables and carry over to cause problems in 2013. The good news is that limiting losses and preventing damage is not all about spraying – there are other steps to take to reduce the impact of these problems.

Many gardeners are now catching up on work that had been delayed due to the wet weather. As they check their plants they may notice that the wet and warm weather over the past three months has meant that fungi, such as black spot on roses and currant leaf spot, and bacteria such as those that cause bacterial canker on cherry and plum trees, may be rampant. The good news is, even in brief spells of dry weather, this is an ideal time to clear up infected material and sometimes spray to prevent the further spread of these diseases.

“It has been difficult getting out to the garden over the past few months because of the rain,” says Guy Barter, RHS Chief Horticultural Advisor. “But when the sun comes out and it is dry we can catch up. One of the important things to do is to remove as much dead and infected material as possible. Once you have reduced the amount of infected material any spraying with an appropriate fungicide will be especially effective.”

Ideally, gardeners should spray in the early morning or late evening so that the fungicide doesn’t dry out too quickly and leave a dusty mark on the leaves, which looks unsightly. However, there are many plant diseases encountered by gardeners that have no remedy and therefore clearing up material is even more vital.

Further information is available on the RHS website – visit: and browse or search for the particular disease, by name or by plant, about which you need information. RHS members can also send in samples of infected materials free of charge to be analysed.

Visitors to RHS Gardens can talk to the charity’s gardening staff for more information on controlling plant problems.