Solutions to your problems in the vegetable garden

Des solutions à vos problèmes au potager

One of the biggest challenges related to the cultivation of edible plants is certainly the management of diseases as well as prevention of attacks of insects and animal pests.

Certain techniques, such as companionship and the diversification of plantings can help avoid some of the problems. Instead of planting edible plants in rows or beds, opt for a method of planting more natural with a high diversity of plants.

Tomatoes with black tips

Blossom end rot

The blossom end rot is a very common problem in tomato. It is characterized by the appearance of a stain of black color on the skin located under the fruit opposite the stalk. This problem is usually caused by a calcium deficiency and not by a fungus.

To overcome this deficiency, you can spray it in milk or any other liquid fertilizer, natural calcium-rich a few times on the foliage of your tomato plants. However, as in the case of the cracking of the skin, it is more often the low humidity in the soil, which is the cause of the problem. Of regular watering and in-depth knowledge can usually prevent the problem.

White on the leaves of cucumbers

Seedling of cucumber affected by the white.

If a sort of felt greyish-white appears on the surface of the leaves of your cucumbers, it is most likely due to the presence of a fungus called oidium. Cucumbers and squash are particularly susceptible to this disease whose spores are often dispersed by insect pests such as bean leaf beetle, striped.

Unlike most fungal diseases, germination of the spores of the white is favoured by the dry weather and it is inhibited by the presence of water. To ensure that your edible plants are affected by this disease, it is advisable to never let them dry out completely. Water regularly without worrying about getting wet or not their foliage.

Flowers and leaves of cucumbers eaten

When the flowers and leaves of the seedlings of cucumbers are eaten, it often happens that the culprit is the red striped. It is an insect yellow marked with black bands, of which the larva is orange-red, which eats the foliage and flowers of most plants of the cucurbitaceae family.

In addition to devour the plants, this insect is the vector of diseases such as powdery mildew and bacterial wilt, scattering them wherever he goes of these diseases that are going to turn yellow, wilt and dry the leaves of cucumbers and squash.

You can try to eliminate the beetles using a shop vac or protect infested plants with sprays of neem oil (neem tree) and repeat.

Cucumber grown under a structure covered with agrotextile.

However, the best solution is to grow the vine crops under agrotextile. When the cucumbers, squash, zucchini and melons begin to flower, remove the agrotextile during the day to allow pollinating insects access to the flowers. At this time of the season, the adult beetles will attack little or not at these plants, since they will be parties elsewhere in want of food.

Holes in cabbage leaves

Imported cabbageworm, cabbage adult

Imported cabbageworm, cabbage is a butterfly white colour, of which the larva is a green caterpillar that eats mainly the leaves of cabbage and some plants that are close relatives, such as kale and broccoli. This caterpillar usually feeds in early summer and causes the appearance of many holes in the leaves of these plants.

During the period when caterpillars are most active, you can spray weekly with Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, usually sold under the name of Btk. This bacterium, which lives naturally in the soil produces a toxin affecting the digestive system of caterpillars that ingest. As a result, the caterpillars stop feeding after a few hours and die within days. This biological insecticide is so effective when caterpillars are still young and that they feed on. The Btk was, however, no effect on the piérides cabbage adults (butterflies).

Carrot holes and distorted

Carrots gouged and deformed by the larva of the carrot maggot.

The carrot maggot is a small, winged insects of 5 to 6 mm long which lays its eggs on the roots of the carrot. The larvae, which are white, devour the carrots by digging holes and galleries. This fly lays usually its eggs in two successive waves. The first spawning takes place towards the end of may and the second, more devastating, occurs in August or early September.

Some studies have shown that cut or touch a lot on the foliage of the carrots would have the effect of attracting the carrot maggot. Rather than thin the seedlings by cutting off those excess using scissors, it is preferable to space the seedlings in the best way possible and, then, leave all the plants in place without thinning to avoid attracting the carrot maggot.

The most effective way to avoid the carrots are the prey of this insect is of the cover of an agrotextile, particularly at the time of the second spawning in late summer.

Squirrels attacking tomatoes

Grey squirrel

Although he has a weakness for tomatoes, the grey squirrel is eating also fruits and the buds of many other edible plants, and it seems to take a perverse pleasure in digging up the rhizomes and bulbs of some plants such as tulips.

To repel squirrels from your garden, there are still some options available to you. The first is to spray on plants as a repellent business, such as Bobbex-R for example.

The second option is to cover your garden plants a agrotextile or a metal mesh to the fine mesh from the start of the season, and up to the time of the harvest. Make sure you still have the agrotextile or the fence on a structure or solid hoops.

The third and last solution is to install in your garden a sprinkler with a motion detector.

Garlic, onions and leeks, which are languishing

The leek moth lays its eggs in three successive waves, in may, at the end of June and early July as well as August. Caterpillars white born then eat voraciously the leaves of the garlic, the leek and the onion. They are entering possibly in the bulb or in the heart of the plants – which also supports the entry of rot – and decay.

It is quite easy to prevent the attack of the leek moth by protecting sensitive plants with agrotextiles. However, if this insect is wreaking havoc in your garden, you will have no other choice than to make a few sprays of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (BTK), as in the case of an invasion of piérides cabbage.

The calendar of the gardener

The work to be done at the end of June

  • To begin the fertilizing of garden plants and annual flowers grown in containers.
  • Regularly clean the faded flowers of perennials and annuals to prolong flowering.
  • Staking large perennials.
  • Prune conifers with scales such as the cedars (the cedars).
  • Regularly check whether the vegetable crops are attacked by insects and diseases.
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