Dragonfli will be publishing new plant care guides for 2021 , which will advise on how to protect plants from sowing and planting. Plants need protection not only from insect pests but also plant diseases and dis-orders especially with the limited range of fungicides now available to gardeners. There is now more knowledge about how to protect plants from diseases by using natural biostimulants. These enable healthier root and plant growth making plants more resistant to pest and disease attack and they help plants recover after any such attacks. Keep a watch out for the new expanded Dragonfli Boost biostimulant range for 2021.
A good example and starting point is with any bare root Box Hedges that you maybe planting in the current bare root season. Box plants can suffer heavily from blight and are vulnerable to attack from Box Tree caterpillars in the spring and summer. They need a good start with strong root growth. Apply Roots Boosts Mycorrhiza fungi in the planting hole of the bare root plants and just under the surface when you backfill. This will help the plants develop a strong root system enabling them to take up nutrients and water when they need to. In the spring to further enhance their development; apply Soil Boost granules as a top dressing about the base of the plant at about 20g per metre squared. This is a plant based slow release organic fertilizer, which provides a natural alternative to synthetic slow release fertilizers. This can be repeated in the autumn. Soil Boost will help maintain healthy growth, which make it more difficult for plant pathogens like blight to establish. Try also to keep a good air flow around the plants and avoid overwatering.
Box Tree caterpillars will hibernate as cocoons in Box hedges from November to March , sometimes even as caterpillars in mild conditions. Remove any you see in this period. From April , place out Box Tree pheromone traps to warn of any new moth activity. If new caterpillars appear, apply Box Tree caterpillar nematodes as soon as they appear , when they are young. We will provide more detailed information on how to apply next spring. Contary to some information circulating in the garden media, it is not legally permitted to apply the bacteria ; Bacillus thuringiensis if you are a hobby gardener, as it is only permitted for professional use in the UK. Our complete new planting guides will be available in the spring, including one for Box Tree plants, along with new information on on how to apply Box tree killer nematodes effectively.