Prevent Plant Diseases With These Tips
2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited
Cut out any diseased or dead growth in a plant to reduce the risk of infection spreading or provide an entry point for disease. Cut back to a healthy bud.
Healthy plants have stronger defenses against infection than those that are left wilting and malnourished, so water your crops regularly and provide them with the correct balance of nutrients to keep problems at bay.
Use these tips to prevent plant diseases and deal with disorders.
Bacteria, Fungi and Viruses
These all cause diseases in plants and many infect weeds and dead plant material, so keep the garden neat to help reduce problems. Also, avoid introducing diseases to your containers by buying certified disease-free plants and tubers, and never take cuttings or seeds from infected plants.
Fungi thrive in moist, stagnant air, which is why it is vital to ventilate greenhouses and cloches, allow space between plants, and prune fruit bushes and trees. Also control pests, such as aphids, because they can spread viruses too.
Tips to Prevent Disease:
- Sterilize seed-sowing equipment.
- Clean tools after using on individual plants.
- Keep pots well watered to prevent the compost from drying out, as desiccated crops are vulnerable to diseases. Where crops, such as zucchini, are susceptible to fungal diseases, water the soil rather than the leaves.
- Cut out diseased growth promptly to prevent the infection spreading, and remove any damaged growth, which may provide an entry point for diseases. Cut back to the base of a leaf or to a healthy bud on a stem.
Although they often look like diseases, disorders are due to other factors, such as lack of water or nutrient deficiencies. One example is blossom end rot on tomatoes, which is caused by a lack of calcium. Improving the water supply to allow better nutrient uptake is often the best remedy, or you may have to apply a fertilizer.