Gardening Articles


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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