It can be so disheartening when you spend your time and money dreaming of a bountiful harvest only to have the plants succumb prematurely to disease.
Here are 7 tips to make sure your garden is filled with healthy, happy plants!
1) Plant newer varieties that have been bred for disease resistance (see AAS Winners below that tout good disease resistance.)
2) Use good, healthy soil to put less stress on the plants, and use a smart crop rotation plan.
3) If you do spot disease on a plant, cut off the affected leaf or limb.
4) Properly dispose of diseased plants in the trash, not the compost.
5) Cleanliness counts! Wash your hands and clean your tools after working in one garden area so no diseases are transferred.
6) Spread plants out so they have room for circulation, which helps prevent disease. This includes staking plants instead of letting them lie on the ground.
7) Water early in the day so the plant’s leaves have time to dry before nighttime when diseases are more prone to spread.
Key to disease abbreviations:
BCMV = Bean Common Mosaic Virus
CMV = Cucumber Mosaic Virus
DM = Downy Mildew
F = Fusarium
NCLB = Northern Corn Leaf Blight
PM = Powdery Mildew
PVY = Potato Virus
TMV = Tomato Mosaic Virus
TSWV = Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus
V = Verticillium
WMV = Watermelon Mosaic Virus
ZYMV = Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus