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Vegetable Growing : Weeds, Pests and Diseases

Pests | Diseases

Pests 

Weeds should be controlled before they go to seed

Weeds should be controlled before they go to seed

If ground preparation was good, there should be no perennial weeds. If these appear, dig them out, or spot treat them with Roundup. Vegetables cannot compete with weeds. Begin with weed-free ground and aim to keep it clean.

Control weed seedlings as soon as they appear. Do not allow weeds to get much beyond the seedling stage and never allow them to flower. If no weeds seeds are produced the reservoir fo weeds seeds in the soil will be depleted and weed control made a lot easier in future. The first flush of weeds comes up usually before the vegetable seedlings. When these weeds controlled, the subsequent flushes will not be as strong.

Light hoeing between rows gets rid of the majority. Hand-weed the actual rows of vegetables. Chemical weed control is not a possibility in the vegetable garden, except on pathways, especially if these are permanent. As the vegetable plants fill their allotted spaces, their leaves, especially those of the leafy kinds actively help to keep weeds under control, and relatively few weeds germinate, but these should be controlled.

As soon as crops go over, remove the remaining plants and weeds, and dig the ground. This prevents seeding, discourages pests, and leaves the ground ready for the next crop. Timeliness is all important for successful weed control in vegetables.

Cabbage root fly damage

Cabbage root fly damage

Quite a range of pests attacks vegetables. Very many of these are occasional or unusual and are not worth taking precautions against. Some, however, can be relied upon to make an appearance. They include greenflies, cabbage root fly, carrot root fly, cabbage caterpillars, slugs and snails and pigeons. Details on these pests are given in Pests.

Diseases

Potato black leg disease

Potato black leg disease

Not many diseases cause problems in the vegetable garden – those that do are mainly soil borne. Among them are onion white rot and clubroot of the Cabbage family. Blight on potatoes will almost certainly appear, but other diseases are occasional rather than certain. Details of these diseases are given in Diseases.

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