• Start with a clean planting site, free of last year’s crop debris. Debris from the previous season’s crops may harbor diseases, weeds and insects.
2. Purchase high quality plants and seeds
• Select plants with healthy-looking leaves and strong stems (avoid spindly plants).
• Purchase seeds and transplants only from reputable dealers.
• Avoid collecting seeds from diseased or unhealthy-looking plants (pathogens are often transmitted on or in seed).
3. Rotate crops
• Grow your crops in different parts of the garden each year. Be sure not to rotate crops with those in the same plant family (e.g., tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers; cabbage, broc coli, and cauliflower).
4. Avoid planting too early
• Plant growth may be slowed due to cold soil temperatures (slow-growing plants are more susceptible to attack by dis ease-causing organisms and insect pests).
• Mulches prevent soil that may contain disease-causing organisms from splashing onto the plants, and also helps retain soil moisture.
6. Avoid overcrowding the plants
• Crowding creates a moist, humid environment that is favorable for disease development.
7. Water early in the day
• Plants that remain wet throughout the night are more likely to develop disease problems.
8. Remove diseased leaves, flowers, and fruit as soon as they are noticed
• Diseases are easily spread by wind and rain from diseased plant tissues. Destroy the diseases material. DO NOT COMPOST.
9. Fertilize to promote growth, but avoid over-fertilization, especially with nitrogen
• Young, succulent growth is susceptible to attack by many fungi and bacteria.
10. Try to maintain insect damage to a minimum
• Insect wounds provide entry sites for disease-causing organisms
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