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In the Garden

Written By: Bob and Linda Larson  |  Posted: Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

"He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth." Psalm 104:14

If you have worked hard to rid your garden of weeds, you will see that tiny seedlings have grown enough leaves to be recognizable as different types of plants. I have always enjoyed seeing the orderly rows marching across the soil: the tiny plants hold such promise. Even though you can identify the plants, you are still several weeks away from harvesting all but some early radishes and lettuce. Last issue we talked about garden pests and how to eliminate them. I think threats like insects are easier to deal with because they are easier to see and identify. Squashing bugs is so satisfying when they are attacking your plants! This week I want to talk about plant diseases. While you can see the effects, diseases are harder to identify and diagnose. The science of plant diseases is known in scientific circles as plant pathology. That's just a fancy way of saying that plants, like people, can get sick. As I did research for this article, I felt like I was back in Science class. Many references were filled with technical descriptions, but I'm going to try to simplify things. Microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes cause diseases in plants. Since plants don't move around like people and animals, diseases are spread by being carried various ways such as insects, animals and birds, humans, wind, and water.

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