Gardeners have realized the limitations of fungicides and insecticides this growing season. Continuous rainfall has made it almost impossible to apply protective products for preventive control. In many cases, the products aren't on the plant for even 24 hours. As plants and produce succumb to what mother nature is dishing out, cleanup of infected and infested plant materials is very important. All diseases and insects have some survival structure which enables them to live until the next growing season or until a susceptible host is grown. Remove disease infected plant material from the garden and burn. Do not compost, because many disease organisms can survive in home compost piles. Pick up and dispose of fallen fruits as well. Control tall growing weeds and remove other debris around the garden to prevent overwintering sites for insects such as stem borers. This year has definitely been favorable for disease development and insect infestations. Sanitation is one important way we can remove and reduce the chance for problems next year.
This article originally appeared in the July 28, 1993 issue, p. 127.