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the article will take you to johnnyseeds.com.
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Scouting for pests and diseases
One of the fringe
benefits of weeding is that while you are out there hoeing or hand
pulling weeds, you can monitor crops for any signs of damage from pests
or diseases. Turn over leaves and look at the undersides, as that is
where many insects lay eggs and where diseases first appear. If a plant
is wilted, pull it up and look at the roots to see if they are stunted
or rotting. Unless you are familiar with a specific insect and know that
it’s going to harm your crop, do some research before you take action.
insects are beneficial and you should learn what they look like in all
their life stages so you don’t inadvertently kill these allies.
Likewise, learn the life cycles of pests that are common in your area so
you can watch for them even before they start to do damage. We highly
recommend the book Garden Insects of North America
by Whitney Cranshaw. This is a huge (656 pages), comprehensive book
about insects that are likely to be found in vegetable and fruit fields
and gardens. Insects are categorized by the type of damage they do,
which makes it easy to narrow down the potential culprits when you spot a
Another essential reference is Identifying Diseases of Vegetables from
Penn State University, which includes concise descriptions and large
color photos of common diseases.
In addition, there are many
online resources to help you identify problems. Check with your State
Extension Service to see if it has an IPM (Integrated Pest Management)
program for vegetables and fruits. If so, you might find information
that will be targeted to your area. If not, do an internet search for
"IPM vegetable" and pick the site from the state nearest yours. Many of
these IPM sites have excellent photos.
Once you know the nature
of the problem you're dealing with, you can turn to Johnny's
chart of physical, biological, and botanical controls for all the most
common pests and diseases of vegetables
The chart lists multiple
strategies, from row cover to inexpensive repellents to
Keep records of pest and disease
outbreaks. Write down the dates you noticed the problem and took action
on it; the plant's stage of development; the temperature and general
weather conditions. Review your notes at the start of next season, and
you'll be better prepared to catch problems before they become serious. Visit Johnny's Selected Seeds for more free
information about growing produce, herbs, cover crops and flowers.
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from JSS Advantage June 2010