Natural Disease Control: A Common-sense Approach to Plant First AidAdopt a commonsense approach to the plant diseases that plague your plants: Dispense with poisons and practice prevention. This concise guide tells you all about the simple gardening techniques you can use to suppress plant problems while improving the overall health of your garden. In these pages, expert pathologists from across the continent explain how to identify diseases that do crop up—and how to treat them effectively using the least toxic controls available today.
- Introduction: A Common-sense Approach to Plant First Aid, by Beth Hanson
- A Plant Disease Primer, by Miranda Smith
- DIAGNOSING PLANT PROBLEMS
- CHART: Symptoms and Possible Causes
- CHART: Common Plants and Their Most Common Diseases
- Encyclopedia of Plant diseases
- Diseases of Ornamental Plants
- Diseases of Trees
- Diseases of Vegetables
- Diseases of Turfgrass
- Encyclopedia of Plant disorders
- Nine Keys to Disease Prevention, by Jim Chatfield
- Least-Toxic Disease Controls, by William Quarles
- For More Information
Introduction: A Common-sense Approach to Plant First Aid
by Beth Hanson
Gardening offers its practitioners innumerable intellectual and sensual pleasures—as well as the occasional deep disappointment. One of the most dispiriting discoveries is to find your garden suddenly infiltrated by a mysterious blight. The plants that you started from seed back in March and nurtured through the transition to the outdoors have wilted and collapsed. A prized perennial is drooping and yellow. Circles of seared-looking grass are expanding on your lawn. In many cases, the number of possible causes for a plant's decline can be bewildering: insect damage, nutrient-poor soil, environmental stress, soilborne disease, and disease spread by insect vectors are just a few potential culprits. Many a gardener has experienced helplessness and confusion in the face of such a thicket of possibilities.
This volume, a companion to BBG's earlier handbook Natural Insect Control: The Ecological Gardener's Guide to Foiling Pests, covers many of the most common and most devastating diseases that can arise in gardens across the country. In this book you will find descriptions of dozens of diseases of trees, turfgrasses, vegetables, and ornamentals, written by seasoned diagnosticians at university plant pathology departments throughout the United States. It is designed to help you diagnose plant diseases correctly and treat them effectively using the least toxic methods available today. In some cases you may need to consult a more extensive guide to the treatment of specific plant diseases; several excellent resources that also emphasize least-toxic controls are listed at the end of this book.
Cleaning up the garden in fall and maintaining good sanitation practices year-round keep diseases at bay.
Probably the most important message you will find here is that plant diseases are best approached through prevention. Disease will inevitably appear in your garden, but the practices that lead to the overall health of your garden and its many denizens—frequent applications of compost, proper pruning and mowing, wise watering, and good sanitation, among others—can suppress most plant maladies. These same practices will also keep the diseases that do crop up at levels that you can learn to tolerate.
Controlling diseases that get a foothold despite your best efforts may take some experimentation. In the final chapter you will find a thorough discussion of the range of least-toxic controls and the diseases that can be treated with them. You will find out how to mix many of these remedies at home from readily available ingredients, and how to protect yourself and the environment while using them.
As you leaf through these pages, you will familiarize yourself with the symptoms of the most common diseases and pick up pointers on gardening practices that ensure the overall health of your small part of the planet. So the next time disaster strikes, you will have your first aid kit at the ready.