Avoiding Diseases and Insects

Diseases and insects cause gardeners a lot of grief. Below are some basic cultural practices to help avoid and control pests.


  • Select the best site. Choose a site with deep, well drained soil.
  • Plant on raised beds. Raised beds improve drainage. They also warm up faster than level soil which aids in faster emergence. Slow emergence increases chances of seedling disease.
  • Use proper plant spacing. Crowded plants reduce air circulation which enhances leaf spot diseases. Septoria leaf spot on tomato is just one example.
  • Overplant. Overplanting where possible will ensure enough production if some plants or vegetables are lost to disease.
  • Proper fertilization. Plants receiving all needed nutrients may resist some of the less vigorous disease causing organisms.
  • Do not overwater. Excessively wet conditions increase soil-borne fungal diseases like root rots and wilts.
  • Avoid overhead irrigation. Leaf spot diseases develop rapidly when leaves are moist.
  • Interplant flowers and vegetables. Harmful insects usually prefer environments where only one type of plant is present. The beneficial insects that feed on insect pests, thrive on diversity.

lettuce leaf Other helpful publications are Plan For Disease Prevention, The Garden Problem Guide, Use Plant Covers for Insect, Disease Protection, Earth-Kind Nematode Control and Cereal Rye For Nematode Control.
Location | Vegetable Selections | Garden Plans | Soil Preparation | Planting
Irrigation | Weed Control | Avoiding Diseases and Insects | Enjoyment

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