Spotting and Treating Diseases

– Knowing whether you’re really dealing with a disease

1) Air pollution is a common problem in may cities. One of the most common air pollutants is ozone. It can cause plant leaves to have a speckled white apperance. Another pollutant, sulfur dioxide, turns leaves yellow, especially between the veins. If you are gardening in a heavy traffic area, consider pollution as a cause of leaf dieback before assuming a disease.

2) Heat stress and drought damage often show up as browing on the leaf edges. Keep plants healthy and wll watered during hot periods to avoid this.

3) Nutrient deficencies can look like disease symptoms on the leaves. For example, iron deficiency in acid-loving plants such as peppers and parsley will show up as a yellowing between the greenveins of leaves. This may look similar to sulfur dioxide air pollution.

– Preventing damage in the first place

1) Watering plant roots and avoiding wetting foliage will help reduce the amount of fungal diseases on the leaves. Water in the morning, so the leaves are dry before night fall. Wet leaves at night may mean more diseases. Keep your yard clean by picking up diseased leaves, flowers, and fruits each fall and disposing of them properly. Mulch to keep plants healthy and avoid physical damage.

2) Inspect your plants often for any signs of diseases. Some diseases can be stopped in their tracks if caught early. Even if you can’t stop the disease on that one plant, you may be able to prevent it from spreading to others in the garden.

– Being aware of some common diseases

1) Black spot. Found mostly on roses, this fungal disease causes black spots on leaves. The leaves eventually turn yellow and drop. It spreads quickly during periods of wet weather. Grow resistant variesties, clean up the dropped leaves and flowers well, and spray Neem oil, Serenade, or a baking soda solution as a preventive spray. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda in 1 gallon of water with a dash of liquid soap and spray leaves weekly or after a rain.

2) Botrytis blight. Another fungal disease that likes humid weather. botrytis blight causes leaves and fruits to have fuzzy white and gray patches, brown up, and drop. It’s found on flowers such as geraniums, peonies, and begonias and fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. Remove infected plant parts when you see them and space plants properly to avoid the disease.

3) Mildew. Powdery mildew and downy mildew are two of the most common forms of this fungal disease. Both cause white, powdery coating on leaves that eventually die. It’s found on a wide range of plants including lilac, garden phlox, bee balm, roses, and zinnias. Powdery mildew likes warm days and cool, dewy night. Downy mildew well of infected plant parts, and use Serenade as a preventive spray on susceptible plants.

4) Wilt. Verticillium and fusarium are the two most common fungal wilts. They attack a wide range of plants including tomatoes, peppers, melons, cabbages, strawberries, roses, and cherries. Often the leaves will curl and wilt even though the plant is well watered. The leaves eventually drop and the whole plant may die. Choose resistant varieties, keep the plants healthy, and rotate crops to avoid wilt disease problems in your yard.

– Try to use natural spray, such as baking soda, Neem oil, galic, and hot pepper flakes,  to deal with bugs. The followings are common bad guys in the garden. Warning: viewer discretion is advised! : )

Fungus gants : found on veggie seedlings, a sign of too wet conditions.

Fungus gants : found on veggie seedlings, a sign of too wet conditions.

Scale: spray with a horticultural oil, such as neem oil.

Scale: spray with a horticultural oil, such as neem oil.

Spider Mites: attack all plants with nutritious sap and are especially present on vegetable plants. Apply a natural insecticide such as Soap-Shield, summer horticultural oil spray, rotenone and pyrethrum to your vegetable plants.

Spider Mites: attack all plants with nutritious sap and are especially present on vegetable plants. Apply a natural insecticide such as Soap-Shield, summer horticultural oil spray, rotenone and pyrethrum to your vegetable plants.

Whiteflies: not only damage plants by sucking the juices from tender leaves and stems, but also spread viruses to your vegetable plants as they feed. Use yellow sticky traps and a light ‘summer spray’ (vegetable-based) horticultural oil to deal with them.

Whiteflies: not only damage plants by sucking the juices from tender leaves and stems, but also spread viruses to your vegetable plants as they feed. Use yellow sticky traps and a light ‘summer spray’ (vegetable-based) horticultural oil to deal with them.

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