Protect your Garden from Pests and Diseases
It will surely happen that pests and diseases do disappear from plants or damage garden produce, but there are means for these failures to remain within acceptable limits.
Non-Chemical Control Measures
Cultivation of Resistant Plants
The main way to defend against pests and diseases is to grow resistant plants, less likely to harbor pests and diseases. This is an additional reason to grant a prominent place to perennial vegetables because they are generally less affected than annual vegetables.
The polyculture that is practiced in the vegetable garden slows down the rapid spread of diseases and pests: trees, shrubs, and herbs of all kinds grow in the same place. In fact, the risk that pests or diseases completely destroy a crop is larger in a square with a single annual vegetable. This is not for nothing that we usually mix the annual vegetables (eg corn and beans with here and there a pumpkin).
Grown together, corn growing up, climbing beans, and the pumpkins spreading out, these plants fill the space so much more effectively than any of them grown alone. In addition, corn and pumpkin benefit from the nitrogen fixed by the beans. But polyculture also sometimes improves protection against pests and diseases. Examples:
1/ Strong-smelling vegetables, such as garlic, coriander, and white Caya (Cleome gynandra) sometimes repel insects that attack other plants. Farmers in Sudan hunt white flies tomatoes by planting coriander between the feet. Flies sucking leaf sap transmit Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) that seriously affects young people’s plants and prevents them from producing fruit. The white Caya0 protects to certain extent cabbage sprouts and green beans thrips flowers.
2/ Amaranth curbs the infestation of tomatoes with nematodes. The crotalaria (Crotalaria provides) also limits the damage of the nematode in neighboring plants, but it is best known for its effect on seeds of Stiga which causes germination; in the absence of a vulnerable cereal, the young shoots of Striga die.
Read More: How to Get Rid of Termites
Maintaining Favorable Growth Conditions
Growth conditions range from shade trees to exposure to the sun and, depending on the climate, humidity, and drought. Plant their cultures at the place and time that suits them best.
African eggplant and fluted squash accept shade well. Annual vegetables only support a slight shade, but during the dry season, they survive a few weeks longer than those who are exposed to the full sun. It is also important to space the plants. The good spacing allows air to circulate and plants to dry quickly after rain. When they are close together, the humidity level remains high,
which facilitates the spread of diseases. Tomato growers go even further: during the rainy season they practice ridge cultivation to improve drainage. In addition, they cut plants so as to leave only one stem, then attach them to a picket line (while during the dry season they lay on the ground and ramify without constraints).
This system not only allows plants to dry quickly after the rain but also maintains fruits out of the soil where they would be dirty and more easily infected. There are some pests and diseases transmitted by the soil and the damage they cause depends on the soil conditions. the application of a good amount of organic matter allows the soil to house a wide variety of life forms.
They inhibit their mutual growth, so that bacteria, fungi, nematodes (worms), and worms that invade the roots of the plants cannot take over. It is also important to ensure good drainage because soaking roots in stagnant water become weaker and more vulnerable. Damping-off is a common disease transmitted by the soil in nurseries.
The part of the stem closest to the ground rots and the plant spills. Poor drainage, sometimes associated with a population density of plants growing in height (for example because germination exceeded expectations) leaves room for mushrooms.
Read More: Tips and Tricks to Keeping Pests and Vermins Out of Your Food Garden
Crop rotation (growing crops in turn differently in the same square) plays an important role in vegetables annually. Replanting the same culture, or one of the same family, in the same place comes back to “replant the problems”: the pests and diseases of this plant become stronger and the nutrients that she needs are insufficient. It is advisable, for example, to grow fragile and resistant crops in order to reduce losses caused by nematodes.
In order to avoid finding the same problems, we divide the vegetables into a few separate groups:
1/ legume: all kinds of beans and peas;
2/root/tuber / bulb: carrot, radish, sweet potato, onion, garlic;
3/ leafy greens: Dark green leafy plants and salads (amaranth, black nightshade; lettuce); cabbages (white cabbage, green cabbage, pe-tsai, pak choi, cauliflower)
4/ fruit vegetables: Solanaceae (tomato, eggplant, red pepper), okra, cucurbits (squash, cucumbers, melons).
When crop rotation is practiced, one succeeds in each square of plants of different groups. The wise gardeners even consider underlined names as separate groups and observe a stricter rotation: they replant a culture of a group after having grown two plants from another group. And when you practice polyculture in the same square, it is also advised to grow plants of different groups. It is easier to solve this kind of problem when growing both vegetables and fodder in the garden. In that case, we reverse the squares of vegetables and those of fodder.
Read More: How to Get Ride Household Insect Pests
Around the trunk of fruit trees, we often see kinds of crowns formed of metal leaves or thorny branches for preventing rodents from climbing. Surround with sticky paper tree trunks to hinder ants (and other insects non-flying).
These sometimes carry immobile insects (mealybugs, aphids, leafhoppers) to young shoots to be able to then recover the honeydew they excrete. It is therefore important to stop them. Large fruits (eg jackfruit) are bagged to protect them from insects, birds, and bats. Sometimes we do the same with smaller fruits (guava, mango, etc.) or cucurbits fragile (eg, colocynth) to prevent flies from fruits to lay their eggs.
We traditionally use wood ash, especially on the boards showing, to repel insect pests (ants, termites, and caterpillars). To prevent the birds from eating the seedlings that just come out of the ground, stretch black threads in braces 10 cm above the sowing board.
The birds will see them too late and will crash against them. Farmers in Southeast Asia use fishnets fine mesh nylon to protect their vegetable squares against butterflies and other flying insects that would otherwise lay eggs on their eggs.
These nets are cheap and effective and represent without a doubt an interesting solution when we can devote a little money to crop protection. The nets are removed as soon as the plants are less fragile. of the same culture. If the remains of these plants are well composted, the risk of the spread of pests and diseases by the compost medium is significantly reduced.
Hygiene is also the most effective weapon against rats and mice: avoid spreading seeds and collecting garbage. Is it also eliminated by placing traps? Snails, slugs, caterpillars, locusts, and other insects are big enough to take off by hand. This method may seem a bit primitive, but, as we will see later, pesticides are not really effective against large insects.
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