By this time of year, vegetable gardeners have big plants are either awaiting their harvest, or already brining in the bounty from their garden. But it’s not all tomatoes and zucchini, pests and diseases start to wreak havoc this time of year as well.
You might have pesky aphids; they are attracted to many common vegetable garden plants. Luckily, they are pretty easy to control. Usually, spraying them off with a high-pressure jet of water will do the trick. If not, you might try an insecticidal soap. The use of pesticides is discouraged for an aphid problem, since they have so many natural enemies and using pesticides will keep the “good guys” away too.
Flea beetles are another common issue that you might see on many vegetable plants such as tomatoes, lettuce, and radish. They are very small and jump when disturbed. Promoting rapid growth and healthy plants is the best defense. You can also try floating row covers if the problem is getting too bad.
Powdery mildew starts to creep up once plants get large and air circulation is low. You will see this white dusty fungus on many plants such as grapes, cucumber, and squash. Prune plants to increase air circulation and avoid overhead watering. If this doesn’t help you can try neem oil or sulfur-based products.
Blossom end rot is not so much a disease, but an environmental disorder most common in tomatoes but can also be found on peppers, eggplant, and watermelon. Black to brown lesions will be found on the blossom end of the fruit. This is caused by the plant not taking up enough calcium, but that does not mean that calcium is not in the soil, it is just not being taken up. This is caused when there are extreme temperature fluctuations, and with moisture fluctuation. Mulch your plants and stabilize your irrigation schedule to fight this issue on future fruits.
There are many more issues that might pop up in your veggie garden this summer, and the CSU Extension website has the solutions. Check out extension.colostate.edu” class=”link “>extension.colostate.edu for online yard and garden resources that will help you figure out the best solution for your situation.
Now that you know how to keep your garden pest and disease free, you can enter some prize-winning produce in the Pueblo County Fair community open class competition. Entries can be brought to the Events Center on the State Fairgrounds from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24, that’s today! Classes and rules can be found at www.pueblocountyfair.com/open-class. Show off your gardening skills by bringing home a blue ribbon!
Sherie Shaffer is the horticulture coordinator at the Colorado State University Extension office for Pueblo County. She can be reached at 583-6566 or by email at [email protected].
This article originally appeared on The Pueblo Chieftain: garden-from-bugs-and-disease/65376359007/” data-ylk=”slk:Use these tips to protect your Colorado garden from bugs and disease” class=”link “>Use these tips to protect your Colorado garden from bugs and disease
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