Gardeners are excitedly looking through all the catalogs this time of year. When selecting varieties, remember to consider disease resistance. Varieties are available that offer resistance to various leaf blights, powdery mildew, and wilt diseases. For example, certain zinnia varieties are resistant to powdery mildew and Alternaria leaf blight. Rose varieties available that are resistant to powdery mildew and black spot. Check the plant descriptions in catalogs for information about disease resistance.
Also remember to select plants that are suited to the planting site and your hardiness zone. Plants that are healthy and growing vigorously are better able to fight off attack by disease organisms.
Finally, when designing your 1996 plantings, recall any disease problems that occurred last year. When possible, plant different species in these areas this year. Rotation, like resistant varieties, is an inexpensive form of disease control.
This article originally appeared in the February 9, 1996 issue, p. 14.