Posted by Brent Wilson on 9/13/2016 to Organic Gardening
During periods when rainfall, heat and humidity are high, control of disease on vegetable plants can become difficult. However, the following practices will help to reduce losses, organically, which means without the use of chemical fungicides.
- The best first-line method of reducing disease pressure is to use resistant varieties when available. A good example is VFN tomatoes, where the VFN stands for Verticillium-, Fusarium-, and nematode-resistant material.
- Disease control begins with healthy plants. Don't bring problems into your garden - buy disease-free transplants.
- Plant as early in the spring as practical.
- Plant your vegetable plants in well-drained soil or a raised vegetable garden bed.
- Weeds harbor diseases so pull them as they sprout.
- Water your vegetable garden in morning so plants are not wet at night, and avoid splashing water on foliage when possible. Never water in the late evening.
- Organic Neem oil is effective for some diseases, such as powdery mildew, but it also kills insects. So be careful to spray plants early in the morning or late in the evening when pollinating insects are not active.
- Plants with disease symptoms should be removed and destroyed immediately.
- Crop rotation can be an important method of controlling some but not all soil borne diseases. The proper crop rotation can substantially reduce nematodes in the soil but will do little to reduce southern blight.
Organic Homemade Remedies
Fungal Diseases: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases.
Powdery Mildew: Mix equal parts milk and water and spray on infected plants. Three treatments a week apart should control the disease.
Fungal Diseases & Insects: Combine one tablespoon of cooking oil, two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas.
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