Preventing Disease Part 2: Keep Diseases at Bay

Posted by in Plant Diseases on March 2, 2016 0 comments

Keep Diseases at Bay: Allow the soil to warm before planting, letting the sun destroy fungal diseases before you start for the year.

Preventing Disease Part 2 - Keep Diseases at Bay - St. Clare Heirloom SeedsKeep diseases at bay: Some fungal diseases get a head start in our gardens because we plant when the soil is still too cool. Our plants are stressed, just trying to get a start in cooler than their ideal temperatures, putting more energy into just trying to survive, which makes them less able to fight of diseases, and before we know it, we’re dealing with sick plants. The easiest way to eliminate this problem is to allow the soil to warm and ensure that you’re not planting to early in the spring.

Plant disease resistant varieties if/when you can.

If you know you have a history of plant disease in your garden, an easy way to keep diseases at bay is to seek out varieties known to be resistant to the particular disease you have encountered.

Rotate crops, the longer your rotation cycle, the more protection you’ll get.

Crop rotation is probably the number one way to keep diseases at bay in your vegetable garden. Since many diseases affect certain plant varieties the most. Planting vegetables in the same spots year after year practically guarantees that fungal diseases and other pests that overwinter in the soil will give you headaches all season long, year after year. It’s helpful to know the different vegetable families, and how to rotate them in your garden. This also helps soil not get “worn-out” by plants that keep using the same type of nutrients every year helping to keep diseases at bay.

Mulch- A layer of organic mulch, such as straw, grass clippings, or shredded leaves, prevents diseased soil from splashing onto foliage and keeps fruit off the bare ground, where pathogens might take hold.

Mulches are very useful for maintaining soil moisture and keeping weeds down, but they are also a big help in keeping your garden disease-free. Stopping weeds is a big help, too, as weeds can stress plants by competing for nutrients and water. Weeds may also host plant diseases.