Managing a Vegetable Garden

Keeping the garden healthy and attractive requires attention; not only its size and the location but also to the soil, water viability, sunlight and air circulation in the garden. These environmental conditions can determine susceptibility to plant diseases. Diseased plants are unsightly and also detract from the enjoyment and fruits of the garden.

Home garden vegetable plants are affected every year and plant pathogens become established when environmental conditions are favorable. Losses can be reduced through proven disease prevention methods like:

  • Select adapted disease resistant varieties.
  • Use seeds or seedlings that are free from diseases.
  • Plant closely related vegetables in separate areas of the garden.
  • Rotate garden areas to prevent plating closely related vegetables in the same area year to year.
  • Control weeds that compete with vegetable or harbor plant pathogens.
  • Control insects that may carry disease.
  • Remove and destroy diseased plant materials.
  • Remove plant refuse soon after harvesting.
  • Apply fungicides appropriately and in time and when resistant varieties are not available.

Resistant varieties provide one of the ways to manage plant diseases in the garden. Resistance to a disease means that the plant is less likely to show symptoms than susceptible varieties. It does not mean that the plant is immune to that disease; resistance to one disease does not protect against other diseases and resistant varieties are recommended when a disease is known to occur in your area.

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