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Home > Types of Gardening > Ornamental Gardening > Integrated Garden Management
Integrated Garden Management strategies for ornamental plants
Integrated Garden Management  strategies for ornamental plantsIntegrated Garden Management (IGM) is a set of techniques used to control pests and diseases without harming the environment or causing risks to human health.

So what does IGM mean for plants grown in the home garden? A good rule is to try to prevent pests and diseases and to deal with them quickly if you do observe them. To minimise pests and diseases make sure the bed or border is cleared of all plant rubbish before cultivating the soil. This is because fallen leaves may be infected with diseases, such as rust, that are then spread to other areas of the garden. Dispose of infected plant material by burning or deep burial. Choose plants that are suitable for the soil and location as they will remain healthy and resist attack from pests and diseases. In addition, fertilising and watering plants correctly will help to produce healthy plants. Buy only healthy plants, or if sowing your own seed make sure the seed is good quality. Planting should be done at the right time for that species. This means the plant will get established quickly and can better tolerate pests and diseases. In some seasons, sprays will be needed on some plants. Always follow the guidelines on the label so that the correct rate is applied. Some common pests and diseases found in the ornamental garden are described in the table below:

Pest/Disease Symptoms Control
Slugs and snails Irregular holes in plants and slime trails visible. Damage is worst in shady, poorly drained areas. Keep the area well drained. Scatter slug pellets around plants. Squash them when you see them. Encourage predators such as birds and hedgehogs.
Leaf rollers or caterpillars Young leaves rolled or stuck together and large, irregular holes in the foliage. Pick off caterpillars if this is practical. If widespread, spray with an insecticide, e.g. Derris dust.
Aphids Young growth is distorted and weak. Leaves may be covered with a sticky honeydew. Several species of aphids infest ornamental plants in warm settled weather. Keep the plants well watered. If desired, spray them as soon as colonies start to appear. Pyrethrum is an organic-approved insecticide that will kill aphids.
Rust Leaves have red and yellow pustules. Very common on hollyhock, geranium, and antirrhinum. Pick off and burn diseased leaves. Chemical control is not practical.
Club root Roots are swollen and distorted. Above ground, the plants are small and die off earlier than usual. Often affects wallflower and stock. Avoid growing stock and wallflower in the same spot each year. Apply lime to the soil for wallflower as it prefers an alkaline soil.
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