Garden journals can be helpful tools for gardeners all year longHave you been frustrated with disease in your garden? Does all of your hard work turn into rotten tomatoes? Please don’t give up. I promise you can grow beautiful vegetables instead of disease.
By: Lindsey Novak, NDSU Extension Service, The Jamestown Sun
Have you been frustrated with disease in your garden? Does all of your hard work turn into rotten tomatoes? Please don’t give up. I promise you can grow beautiful vegetables instead of disease.
Probably the most important time to prevent disease starts in the fall. This involves cleaning up after yourself! Often times so many of us avoid cleaning out the garden. Yes, we have gotten some snow fall, and this would be the indicator for all procrastinators that now is time to get that gardened cleaned out.
Fall cleanup can be a great time to reflect on this year’s production and take notes for next year. In fact, I highly suggest keeping a garden journal. This journal will be very helpful for next spring when you are trying to remember what you told yourself to remember. In your journal you can document the varieties planted along with how they produced. Also, you will want to draw a map of this year’s garden. Just like in agriculture, proper rotation plays a very important role in preventing disease. Planting crops within the same family on the same spot year after year can result in a number of other issues as well. Tomato, potato, cucumber and peppers are all in similar families and therefore have many diseases in common. Because these are the core vegetable crops many of us plant, you can see why it is important to document where you plant these year after year.
Fall is also the time when we divide our plants and give them to friends and neighbors. This is often observed as a welcoming gift and many of us enjoy sharing our prized plants with others. However, before you give others any plants from your garden, be mindful of any disease or insect issues they had earlier that year.
Having fertile soil is key in producing great vegetables. Many of the issues our plants have might look like a disease, but are actually physiological issues caused by nutrient deficiencies. Blossom-end rot of tomatoes and peppers is one of these. Having your soil tested is a good idea and fall is a great time to get it done. Soil testing materials are available at the Extension office.
For more information on garden disease prevention, contact Lindsey Novak at the Stutsman County Extension office at 252-9030.