No self-respecting gardener would dare leave the confines of the home in this weather and at this time of the year without the trusted secateurs.
They are nearly an extension of the physical body at the moment.
You see, in our climate — which is warm, muggy, and damp — conditions are ideal for the onset and further growth of many fungal infections on our plants.
Powdery mildew on roses and on fruit, fungal leaf spots, apple scab to name but a few.
As with most illnesses, prevention is normally more successful than cure, but if you didn’t manage to prevent this year, then the first course of action for me with any of these fungal problems and die back symptoms is to remove any infected material from the plant.
Hence the secateurs as a constant and ready to remove in the moment.
When removing diseased stems don’t just cut below where it’s obviously infected, rather cut back a few inches into good clean looking material so you will hopefully remove all traces of the fungal problem.
Clean the blade after use and be careful not to compost any of this dirty material as you will end up spreading the diseases.
After pruning you can give the plants a spray of a solution containing copper sulphate, a good broad spectrum organic fungicide.
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