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diseases in the garden

Diseases in the Garden

Sue Sargeant explains that most fungal, bacterial and viral plant diseases are spread naturally by wind, rain, insects, small animals and even our own intervention in the garden.

It’s almost inevitable that you’ll experience the effects of garden diseases but all is not lost.  There’s a balance to be struck and, with some simple good housekeeping tips, you can reduce the risk of losing your plants.

  • First, find out the cause of the damage, then research a solution. The internet is a great resource but also check out what your neighbours and friends might know.
  • Select disease resistant varieties. Many seed merchants, growers and garden centers can offer sound advice on which varieties might be successful in your garden.
  • Remove any diseased and dead plants as soon as you see them. Don’t pile debris near your healthy plants.
  • Keep weeds to a minimum.
  • Keep your plants healthy but do not overfeed as this encourages new, weak, soft growth that is susceptible to disease.
  • Crop rotation is essential to avoid the build-up of recurrent diseases.
  • Companion planting tends to confuse some predators.
  • Water in the early morning so that plants dry off before nightfall. Use a drip watering method rather than sprays that wet the leaves.  We often see problems occurring after rainfall because the leaves are too wet.
  • Provide good air circulation. Overcrowding encourages diseases.
  • Mulch around plants. This will provide a natural barrier, stopping the soil borne fungi from spreading to the leaves.

 

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First published in the November/December 2019 issue of The Local Buzz

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