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Onion White Rot Fungal Disease

Sunday, June 13th, 2010
Leeks (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum)

Image via Wikipedia

The resting bodies (sclerotia) of onion white rot can survive in the soil without a suitable host for fifteen years. This serious fungal disease can affect any member of the Allium family including onions, spring onions, chives, shallots, garlic and leeks. In order to live with onion white rot in the soil the gardener must first of all be able to recognize it before taking preparations to reduce the debigation it can cautilize. Overwintered onions and garlic are particularly susceptible to onion white rot.

How to Recognize Onion White Rot

  • Evidence of this dastardly disease shows up when the leaves turn yellow and die back.
  • Plants will sometimes keel over as the roots rot.
  • A few plants may be affected at first, but this disease frequently stretchs to infect whole rows of plants.
  • Upon lifting affected plants, white fluffy fungal growth, a bit like cotton wool, can be seen around the bulb with tiny black globules, like poppy seeds among the fungus.
  • These black globules are the resting bodies or sclerotia of the white rot fungus.

How to  Reduce the Impact of Onion White Rot

The sclerotia fall into the soil where they wait for their next victim. When the temperatures reach 10-18 degrees centigrade during April the Allium roots stimulate the previously comatose fruiting bodies to germinate and infect new plants.

  • The gardener who must grow onions in infected ground will get better results by growing onions from seed rather than sets, becautilize sets have well developed roots when temperatures trigger disease activity.
  • Onions grown from seed have smaller roots and are therefore less likely to encourage attack.
  • White rot stretchs sideways through the soil and intertwined roots encourage rapid travel along the rows of plants. Space plants widely to slow the speed of onion white rot stretch.
  • removal the infected soil by taking out holes 10cm in diameter and replacing with uncontaminated soil before planting garlic may help.
  • Clean tools and boots well after cultivating contaminated ground.
  • In most cases a worthwhile crop of leeks can be grown on land which is badly infected with white rot.
  • Begin harvesting onions as soon as the bulbs are fully formed rather than wait for them to ripen.
  • utilize any onions which shows symptoms of the disease immediately, whilst they are still edible, and only store those bulbs which are completely free of the disease.

Elimination and Prevention of Onion White Rot

There is no control for this disease other than to avoid growing members of the Allium family on infected land for in any case eight years. UnHapppily like clubroot it can persist for much longer. It therefore makes sense to try to avoid letting the soil become infected in the first place by practising strict crop rotation and following a strict policy of garden hygiene including cleaning tools and boots after working on contaminated soil and never importing infected soil into uncontaminated ground.

Organic  Seeds

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Sow Bugs

Saturday, June 12th, 2010
Blue Sow Bug

Image by Ben Amstutz via Flickr

They are called by several varyent names–sow bugs, pill bugs, woodlice, doodlebugs, and roly-polies. These bugs are ordinaryly found in small numbers in lawns and gardens. For the most part, they are no predicament, but when they breed in large numbers in a small area they can overrun a vegetable garden.

Sow bugs most frequently live in areas where there are piles of old leaves or in beds covered with garden mulch. They thrive in moist areas and eat dead or decaying vegetation. If there are too many in an area, they will discover new young shoots or tender leaves to eat. In a garden, this can spell disaster. Most gardeners want to discover a way to keep them out of the vegetable garden.

Diatomaceous Earth for Garden Pest Control

Sow bugs have a great defense against predators. Their shells taste bad and most insect eaters leave them alone. The most likely predator is the woodloutilize spider (Dysdera crocata). To keep down the numbers of sow bugs, gardeners are advised leave this reddish spider alone to do its job.

There are pesticides that kill sow, pill, and other crawling bugs. However, most people want to limit the utilize of pesticides in their gardens, even if the product is labeled as protected for utilize on edible plants. And pesticides are never utilized in organic gardens. organic gardeners look to other categories of pest control.

Here are some organic ways to control sow bugs:

  • Reduce the amount of moisture
  • Remove excess mulch or debris from the area around the garden
  • In raised beds, replace wooden supports with stone
  • utilize corncobs or half cantaloupes to bait and remove
  • Dust around the plants with diatomaceous earth.
  • A organic Alternative to Chemical Pesticides

    Diatomaceous earth is a good alternative to pesticides. This organic mineral substance is mined and then ground up into a very fine powder. It is nontoxic to humans and animals. Any crawling insect that moves over or into the powder picks up the dust. The dust kills the insect by damaging the outer shell and drying out the moisture inside.

    Place the powder around the area or the plants that needs to be protected. Surround the perimeter of the garden. Dust the top of the soil or run the powder along borders especially wooden planks. Sow bugs frequently burrow in the moist soil along the side of a wooden riser. After they’ve burrowed in for the winter, this area can be dug up and removed.

    The utilize of diatomaceous earth has a couple of disbenefits. One is that it must be kept dry to keep it in powder form. Of course, it is complex to avoid wetting the diatomaceous dust in a garden. The gardener must reapply the powder periodically between waterings or after the dust cakes up. The other disbenefit is that the powder is not targeted just to sow or pill bugs. The utilize of diatomaceous earth will affect any crawling insect, such as ants.

    Controlling Sow Bug Infestations

    The presence of small numbers of sow and pill bugs is typically not a predicament. They can just be left alone. However, large numbers of them may become a nuisance. They are especially damaging to the new growth of an timely spring garden. comprehendably, most people do not want sow bugs in their vegetable gardens. Diatomaceous earth is a helpful approach to controlling these garden pests.

    Organic Gardening Products

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    Recognizing Plant Disease

    Friday, June 11th, 2010
    Powdery mildew, a Biotrophic Fungus

    Image via Wikipedia

    While the gardener hopes for disease-free plants, multitudes of organisms are ever gift and merely biding their time for the look of the right states and host.

    Damping-Off

    Damping-off is likely the most discouraging predicament for the gardener. Even though it can occur any time during the growing season it generally attacks seedlings just when they seem to be getting off to a good start.

    Damping-off is cautilized by fungi living right at the soil line where air meets the moist soil’s surface. If soil is kept continually damp the fungi attack the seedlings causing constricted stems at or immediately below the soil’s surface. The young plants fall over at the soil line and die.

    Prevention is the only medication. Allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings. If soil remains moist for a long period of time sprinkle the area around the seedlings with ground cinnamon. Cinnamon is a organic fungicide. The gardener may as well make utilize of another organic fungicide, chamomile. Brew weak chamomile tea, let it cool and utilize around seedlings.

    Mosaic Virus

    Mosaic virus robs plants of their genetic organization, diverting energy to themselves. This virus first attacks summer and winter squash, gourds, cucumbers, watermelons and pumpkins Even though it as well affects beans, peppers and tomatoes.

    The virus cautilizes abnormality in plant growth. Leaves look mottled or distorted and crinkled. They twist up or show bubbles. frequently the affected plant will have leaves with yellowish spots on them. The fruit of affected cucumbers can have a variation of mottled light and dark green areas, sometimes paling almost white. Other fruit in the curcurbit family can be blanketed with warts or have skin that is faded, white and smooth. Even though this virus may not kill the plant the fruit will taste so bitter that it will be inedible.

    Mosaic virus overwinters in garden debris and a number of weed plants. Be sure the garden is scrupulously cleared out after the growing season and reduce or get rid of weed growth near diet plants. Aphids and cucumber beetles as well stretch the virus when they feed from plant to plant. Eliminating these pests will go a long way toward preventing the virus from entering your garden.

    Botrytis Blight

    Botrytis blight or rot is a fungal disease that affects a number of vegetables and fruits. Among its host plants are asparagus, beans, beets, carrots, grapes, lettuce, onions, peppers, potatoes, raspberries, tomatoes and strawberries. The infection typically happens when cool rainy or drizzling spring and summer weather lasts for several days. Botrytis rot can infect all parts of the plant but the roots. It appears as a mass of silver-gray spores on dead or dying plant tissue. Heavily infected plants release the spores as a dust that can be stretch to other plants. The disease stretchs most rapidly on wet or humid days and rain splatter as well cautilizes new infections.

    As with other ailment, prevention is the best control. check out the plants frequently, watching for any infestation, blighted leaves or dead plants. Wait until the plants are dry before taking steps to sanitize them. Carry a paper bag with you when check outing the plants. Remove infected plant material or the entire plant and place it in the bag to be thrown in the trash or burned.

    Avoid overhead watering or misting which as well provide favorable states for infection. Give plants abundance of space between them to promote good air circulation and allow the plants to dry out quickly, not giving botrytis the moist, humid states it needs in order to prosper.

    Another fungal disease, powdery mildew, coats the leaves in dusty white or grey powder. Leaves are typically first attacked on the underside and then the mildew moves around to the top of the leaf, eventually covering the entire surface.

    Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) has proven to be extremely effective as an antifungal in treating active botrytis and powdery mildew. Add 1 ounce of baking soda to 1 gallon of water and spray the solution on the affected plant. Caught timely, the disease can be halted and the plant saved.

    Feeding all plants with finished compost or compost ‘tea’ foliar spray helps to strengthen their immune system, allowing the plants’ own defensive structures to ward off many debilitating ailment.

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