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« Horne Family's Garden Coop | Main | Scibelli Family's Organic Garden »

Organic Remedies for Three Common Garden Diseases

Even the healthiest organic garden or greenhouse will eventually find itself under attack from common diseases like tomato late blight, blossom end rot, damping off disease, and powdery mildew. But if you take just a little time to understand these diseases, and the range of powerful, OMRI listed products available to control them, and you can put annoying garden diseases safely in the rearview mirror.


Blossom End Rot

This common syndrome affects tomato and squash plants - usually early in the season -  and is caused by a calcium deficiency that weakens fruit tissue. It can be prevented by enriching your soil with plenty of absorbable calcium, by adding dolomitic lime, and compost before planting.

A regular watering schedule helps ensure that the calcium is available to the plants. To reign in the problem, remove fruits that show signs of end rot - sunken, brown areas - and toss them in the garbage, not in your compost pile.

Powdery Mildew

Easy to spot as a white powder that forms on the leaves of squash and cucumbers, powdery mildew thrives in the humid climate of the Southeast.

You can minimize  the problem, by planting varieties that are mildew resistant, and control outbreaks of powdery mildew with a range of products, from a simple solution of baking soda, applied in the morning, to stronger OMRI listed products like Regalia, Mildew Cure, and GreenCure, and MilStop.

To fully correct the problem, remove any fruits, leaves, or even entire plants that are heavily affected, and throw them in the garbage.


Damping Off Disease

This condition thrives in cold damp areas, and is especially common in greenhouse environments. Damping Off Disease kills sprouting seeds, and also attacks the stems of small seedlings, choking off their supply of water and nutrients.

Damping off targets crushed stem tissue - often the result of rough handling of stems, when transplanting seedlings - so remember to gently handle transplants by carefully holding the leaves or root ball. You can also help eradicate Damping Off Disease, by adjusting the temperature in your grow environment, allowing seeded trays to dry a little more between waterings, and by routinely sterilizing trays and other seed starting equipment.

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