SPRAYING

See INSECTICIDES and such plants as APPLE, PEAR, PLUM, POTATO, STRAWBERRY and TURNIP for up-to-date recommedations on the best spray or other treatments to combat the various pests and diseases. Note that since insect pests vary considerably in methods of attack, and may have to be tackled in the egg, caterpillar or adult stages, no single insecticide or method of control can possibly be effective in all cases. One all-purpose insecticide would obviously be a boon to amateurs (not to mention commercial growers) but the possibility seems very remote, as directly scientists have conquered one pest, another seems to take its place. The same arguments apply to fungicides which are used to combat diseases such as scab, mildew, canker and so on. Note that the effectiveness of any protective spray depends largely on its ability to cover foliage and stems with a thin, continuous film of active material, since every bit of space left uncovered is a potential germinating ground for spores deposited by wind, rain etc. With some sprays a substance such as sulphonated lozol must be added to enable them to spread uniformly over hairy waxy foliage. This type of product is known as a wetter or spreader and is generally included in a particular insecticide or fungicide by the manufacturer. It can, however, be bought separately although this should only be done where expert advice to add such a substance has been obtained.

Always adhere strictly to rates and times of application as recommended on labels etc. The strength of a spray is often expressed as a percentage or ratio and it is important that these terms should be understood properly. For example, a 4% spray is one in which 100 parts of the solution contain 4 parts of the chemical used. This is made up by using 4 parts of the chemical and 96 parts of water. Since there are 4 parts of chemical to 96 parts of water, the ratio of this particular spray would be 1 in 24. Although most modern spraying equipment is constructed with brass working parts, ensuring high resistance to corrosion etc., all equipment should be thoroughly washed out with clear water immediately after use.

SPREKELIA FORMOSISSIMA or JACOBAEA LILY P. A showy bulbous plant which blooms in early summer and can be grown in mild districts outdoors. Plant the bulbs 6 in. deep in early April in rich soil under a warm south wall, and protect in winter with a thick layer of bracken, ashes, peat or similar material. The large solitary crimson flowers about 3 in. in diameter are borne on stout stems. Height about 15 in. The leaves are strap-shaped as in the genus amaryllis (A. formosis-sima was the old name for this plant). Increase by division in spring.

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