Down To Earth

The gardener, like any consumer of vegetables and fruits, is concerned about the use of chemicals in the garden. However, in case of certain insects, pests and diseases, one has to resort to such sprays. But there is one more thing. Keep your eyes open and visit the plants regularly. You will be able to spot insects, diseases or even eggs (as in picture above) that would hatch and you will be forced to resort to spraying. You can avoid it by physically removing such eggs and insects. The eggs are normally laid on the lower side of the leaves. So keep a watch. Also, remember the problem is not with the use of pesticides but the right use of pesticides. If you follow the recommendations, the crop can be as good as organic.

Now when there are rains, can I multiply mulberry and phalsa? What is the procedure?

Ramesh Kumar, Chandigarh

Rains or no rains, this is the time to multiply these plants as they are dormant now. You can propagate these by way of cuttings.

Is this the right time to prune roses? I have bought a few new plants. What precautions should I be taking?

Sarita, Panchkula

The pruning in roses is done in October. If you have new plants, see that there is no dead wood and there is no dying of twigs due to the dieback disease. If so, remove the dead wood taking with it a little of healthy twig.

I have done the pruning of peaches. What should I apply at all the cut

ends so that there is no problem of dieback?

Surinder, Chandigarh

The chemical that is handy for application at the cut ends is blitox. Make a paste by mixing a little water in the powder and apply at the end of the twigs that are more than an inch round.

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