Ten Ways To Prevent Common Garden Diseases

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Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just getting your hands dirty for the first time, you can avoid that frustration that comes when the plants that you thought were so healthy and thriving suddenly bite the dust.

Here are ten simple practices to put in place to avoid loosing plans, time and money to disease:

  1. Good Sanitation: Start with a clean planting site free of debris from years past which could be harboring disease and insects that you do not want to expose your tender plants to.
  2. Use high quality plants and seeds. Select plants that are healthy looking; no wilted leaves, yellow spots or soft stems.
  3. Rotate the crops: Plant in different parts of the garden each year. Be sure not to rotate crops with those in the same plant family (e.g. tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower)
  4. Don’t plant too early: Planting too soon can slow down growth if the soil is not warm enough. Know what growing zone you live.
  5. Use mulch: Mulch holds in moisture and helps to prevent those pesky weeds from growing.
  6. Do not overcrowd the plants: plants need room to grow and crowding them too close creates a humid condition that can cause diseases to develop.
  7. Water early in the day: Do not water when the sun is most intense, as the water will just evaporate.
  8. Remove diseased leaves as the plants are growing.
  9. Fertilize to help plants thrive but do not over fertilize.
  10. Where possible, use row covers to protect plants from bugs. Row covers are porous, let sunlight in, and protect from wind damage.

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