Jim McColl: RHS says word 'pests' to be banned as crowds swarm to Chelsea Flower Show

Greenfly, whitefly, slugs, snails, vine weevils, eelworms, and many others are no longer deemed to be 'pests'

According to recent news from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the use of the word 'pest' is to be banned. In the short term, many will find this 'edict' hard to understand, let alone comply with.

"Don't get me wrong, I wish we could adopt such an attitude at the drop of a sprayer, but that is very unlikely. While there can be no halfway house for ordinary gardeners, and that includes me, it will be nigh impossible to change our attitudes to these creatures overnight after a lifetime of learning and seeing the damage they can cause." Jim McColl said.

A visitor takes a photograph of roses during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA

Crop of carrots
The dreaded carrot fly can be thwarted rather easily. Simply cover the crop with fleece to keep the little blighters out. Remember, however, that there can be an attack later in the season when the second generation of flies hatch. These are the ones that will burrow into mature roots. We still need to study garden pests closely to understand their life cycle, discovering perhaps when they are at their most vulnerable.

Another unwelcome guest, Aphids enjoying lunch on a red currant shoot.

Other techniques
Let's not forget that in the world of disease control in plants, huge strides forward have been made by our plant breeders, creating resistant varieties. We must live in the hope that varieties of plants, unattractive to feeding beasties, will be created over time, but that might just be a pipe dream. Like us, these same beasties must eat to live. "I just wish the flipping whitefly which is back on my fuchsias would find something else more to their liking. I hate having to use these yellow sticky traps; apart from them being unsightly, the first thing they are likely to catch is me." Said Jim McColl.

Chelsea Flower Show
"In gardening circles, the talk of the last week has undoubtedly been the Chelsea Flower Show, which, by the way, I was invited to attend by none other than the new president, Mr. Keith Weed, the privilege and honor being bestowed on new holders of the Victoria Medal of Honour. Sadly, the journey and the necessary traipsing about is rather more than I can manage nowadays, so I have had to avidly watch some of the TV programs and never cease to be astonished at the garden design competitions." Jim McColl concluded. 


Read the complete article at: www.pressandjournal.co.uk 

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