Garden problems got you down? Try these natural and organic tips for dealing with some of the most common garden issues…
Dealing with garden problems can be frustrating, especially if you are dedicated to using organic and sustainable gardening methods and avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals and pesticides. From diseases to hungry insect pests and animals, it sometimes seems like just about everything is out to get your garden!
But don’t despair; there are lots of natural and sustainable ways to protect your plants and prevent critters or bugs from doing away with your hard-earned harvest. Try the tips below for dealing with some of the most common garden problems. And if all else fails…remember there’s always next year! 🙂
You’ve probably had it plague one of your plants at some point or another during your years of gardening.
Powdery mildew is one of the most widespread and easily identifiable plant fungal diseases. From vegetable gardens to rose gardens, ornamental trees and shrubs, almost no type of plant is immune.
Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate), is possibly the best known of the home-made, organic solutions for powdery mildew. It’s most effective when applied in the early stages or before an outbreak occurs. Try adding a tsp. or so to a spray bottle and add water. When the weather is dry, spray your water and baking soda mixture onto the leaves that are affected. Repeat when it rains. The ph level will create an unsuitable environment for the mildew spores to reproduce and spread. Read more on How to Control Powdery Mildew, the Easy Way…
Mosaic-like spots on fruit, leaves, stems, etc:
This disease causes green and yellow spots on plants and foliage. Leaves can crinkle on the plant, turn yellow, and growth will be stunted. There are no cures for this disease but you can help prevent it by controlling aphids and leafhoppers. Remove and destroy ALL plants affected by the Mosaic Virus.
Growth is stunted, yellowing of the leaves:
Your plant probably is suffering from insufficient nutrients. Use a complete organic fertilizer, and try incorporating aged manure into your soil. Insects, disease, poor drainage, and acidic soil are likely culprits as well. Test your pH and remove affected plants from the garden if you suspect disease.
Brown spots on leaves:
This usually occurs from chemical burns or over-fertilizing. It also could be the result of too cold temperatures or a potassium deficiency. If your soil seems dry, try watering more frequently. If you’ve over-fertilized, remove fertilizers from the soil by overwatering for a day or two. If you’re lacking potassium in your soil, try adding some wood ash, aged compost or aged manure.
Blossom end of tomatoes are rotten:
“Blossom-end rot” on tomato plants is the result of either a calcium deficiency, soil that is too compact, root injury, and/or inconsistent watering. Mulch around plants that are affected to promote even soil moisture. You can also incorporate lime into your soil to help with the calcium deficiency. Don’t forget to add some aged compost and organic matter into your soil, and water regularly, especially during blooming and fruiting.
Leaves are curled or scrunched together:
When the leaves curl, this could mean several things. It could be from a disease, moisture imbalance, aphids or from exposure to herbicide. Treat aphids by spraying leaves with water and using an organic insecticidal spray. Remove your affected plants if you suspect disease. Keep the soil evenly moist and try adding mulch around your plants suffering from curled leaves.
When you have beautiful plants that don’t produce fruit, there can be several reasons to blame. The first is too much nitrogen. There’s also the possibility of no pollination so you might want to try some hand pollination techniques. If your plants are mature enough to start setting fruit and the temperatures are right then try pollinating the blossoms with a small brush or gently shake the plant.