Thursday, April 11, 2013

Preventing Diseases in Your Garden

The weather is warm and the dirt is waiting to be planted and tended for your garden. Excitement is in the air as you dream about the harvest you will have this coming fall. Make sure your harvest is not hindered by plant diseases. Take these precautions to help prevent diseases from forming in your garden:

Using Cured Compost will help your plants to be stronger, a stronger plant will be able to resist diseases more easily. Don't know how to cure your compost? Follow these easy steps:
To begin the curing process stop adding organic material to your compost heap.
Turn your pile once a week to allow oxygen to permeate the materials in your compost.
Wet your compost until it is the consistency of a wet sponge.
After 3 months your compost should be ready. If there are still large particles in your pile it needs to go through the curing process again.
Keep your garden watered during droughts. A weak plant will succumb to diseases more easily.

Space your plants wide and use trellises for plants that like to spread out. This will allow air to get around the leaves and dry your plants well, a continually wet plant is a breeding ground for diseases.

Use mulch to keep any soil born diseases from splashing up onto the leaves of your plants.

If a fungal outbreak begins on your plants you can slow it by using garden shears to cut off affected leaves, branches, and/or fruits. Only cut the plant if the foliage is dry, a wet plant will cause the spores to spread more quickly. There are also sprays that you can create to help kill the fungus. There are several for each different variety of fungus, if you have plants with hairy leaves you can use a mixture of 1 tsp baking soda to a quart of water and some drops of liquid soap as a spray mix.

A great sprayer for applying necessary treatments to sick plants or to spray on preventative treatments are the Solo sprayers.

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