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Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Told You to Spray Your Vegetables!

Here is what to do when protecting your vegetables from insects:
1. Don't wait for damage to appear. They are there. Count on it. Get ahead of the insect problem. When you see damage, it is usually too late.
These are aphids feeding on the underside of an undamaged pepper leaf. Now is the time to control them!
2. Plants that have lower leaves that are shaded and touch the ground, cut them off. Remove any lower leaves that come in contact with the ground. This opens up the plant more, removes hiding places for insects and allows better spray application coverage.
The lower leaves of this cabbage plant were removed on the left. The plant on the right still has its lower leaves in contact with the ground. Great place to hide and you cannot spray on the undersides of the leaves. They are shaded anyway so they are not contributing much to the plant anymore. Cut them off!
3. Remove leaves that are shaded on the interior of the plant to create better air movement through the plant, better light penetration and reduce diseases in the process.
Thin or remove interior leaves of plants that are too shaded and have too many. Leave fruit shaded to prevent their sunburn. This allows better air movement and reduces disease problems. Fertilize once a month.

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