PRECAUTIONS





So much for what we can do in actual hand-to-hand, or rather hand-to-
mouth, conflict with the enemy. Very few remedies have ever proved
entirely successful, especially on crops covering any considerable
area. It will be far better, far easier and far more effective to use
the following means of precaution against plant pest ravages: First,
aim to have soil, food and plants that will produce a rapid, robust
growth without check. Such plants are seldom attacked by any plant
disease, and the foliage does not seem to be so tempting to eating-
insects; besides which, of course, the plants are much better able to
withstand their attack if they do come. Second, give clean, frequent
culture and keep the soil busy. Do not have old weeds and refuse lying
around for insects and eggs to be sheltered by. Burn all leaves, stems
and other refuse from plants that have been diseased. Do not let the
ground lie idle, but by continuous cropping keep the bugs, caterpillars
and eggs constantly rooted out and exposed to their natural enemies.
Third, practice crop rotation. This is of special importance where any
root disease is developed. Fourth, watch closely and constantly for the
first appearance of trouble. The old adages "eternal vigilance is the
price of peace," and "a stitch in time saves nine," are nowhere more
applicable than to this matter. And last, and of extreme importance, be
prepared to act _at once_. Do not give the enemy an hour's rest
after his presence is discovered. In almost every case it is only by
having time to multiply, that damage amounting to anything will be
done.
If you will keep on hand, ready for instant use, a good hand-sprayer
and a modern powder gun, a few covered boxes, tobacco dust, arsenate of
lead and materials for kerosene emulsion and Bordeaux mixture, and are
not afraid to resort to hand-picking when necessary, you will be able
to cope with all the plant enemies you are likely to encounter. The
slight expense necessary--considering that the two implements mentioned
will last for years with a little care--will pay as handsome a dividend
as any garden investment you can make.





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