1st October 2009 at 6:28 pm #21034
Most vegetable diseases occur for good reason, such as
1 when plants are nearing the ends of their lives (mildew on autumn courgettes and squashes)
2 because the weather is unfavourable (blight on tomato and potato leaves)
3 when plants are ill at ease because they are out of season (mildew on autumn lettuce)
4 when plants are growing weakly in poor soil
5 viruses and other ailments from aphids or seed.
Gardeners can do little about the causes of the first two categories, although when blight appears there is a need to react, for example by cutting off potato haulm before blight infects the tubers. It can be composted (I always do), because blight fungi arrive on the wind rather than from soil.
Category 3 can be substantially avoided by waiting to sow plants at their most favoured time so that their growth is strong and healthy. For example, I prefer to grow endive as autumn salad, when it is most in season, and lettuce as spring and summer salad.
Category 4 can be solved over one or two years by building soil fertility with compost (see Preparing the Ground), preferably on top of the soil.
Category 5 is often a hiccup in spring time when aphids are numerous, just before their predators arrive. Subsequent growth is usually healthy after this point especially if rainfall is sufficient. Seed-borne viruses are more tricky and stunted or variegated plants may need removing, preferably to a hot compost heap.
Diseases are always telling us something and we can make our gardens both healthier and more productive by remedying the underlying problems.20th November 2010 at 12:13 am #22203
i agree, undisturbed and healthy soil with natural microbes and mycelium produce healthy disease resistant plants, I actually took some soil from a local wild uncultivated area to add to my seedling compost when I first decided not to dig, this
was like a kickstart for more natural conditions, and tiny fungi pop up in many areas of my garden now. Healthy undisturbed soil add in a few of the local flora, a log pile and a pond and all the beneficial insects and other creatures flock in to help keep pests controlled, it takes 3 predators to control one pest. The mycelium extend root capacity, which helps reduce plant stress and disease vulnerability in drought too.27th December 2010 at 9:16 am #22204
I would like to thank you for this gardening information. It will help me very much.
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