Organic Vegetable Gardening

 

INSECT AND DISEASE CONTROL

During periods when infestations of various garden pests are high, control by natural means becomes very difficult. However, the following practices will help to reduce losses without use of chemical pesticides.

  • Plant resistant varieties.

  • Plant seed from disease-free plants.

  • Select pest-free transplants.

  • For cutworms, place a cardboard of tinfoil collar around plant stems at ground level.

  • Spade garden early so vegetation has time to rot before planting.

  • Use a mulch; vegetables touching the soil may rot.

  • Clean up crop refuse early.

  • Plant as early in the spring as practical.

  • Keep out weeds which harbor insects and diseases.

  • Summer fallowing (clean cultivation) helps control nematodes.

  • Summer flooding, where soil type permits, helps control nematodes.

  • Hand-pick insects.

  • Water in morning so plants are not wet at night.

  • Dispose of severely diseased plants before they contaminate others.

  • Some insects, like cabbage worms, may be killed by spraying with natural preparations such as Bacillus thuringiensis.

  • Rotate garden areas.

  • Bake transplanting soil in oven at 160°F for 1 hour.

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