Last Modified on May 07, 2014
Increasing numbers of farmers are returning to the tried and true practices of organic farming, and you can do the same in your own backyard for the best veggies and flowers ever!
If there was one simple answer to all your garden questions, we'd love to have it ourselves, but part of the joy of gardening is its puzzles. Still, you can make life a little easier by knowing your garden's character (soil, temperature, sun, water) and by grouping plants together by their needs - too much nitrogen can wilt or encourage blight in some plants, for instance, so don't place them near plants that need heavy fertilizing.
PLANT ROTATION â Rotating your plants every few years can break the disease cycle if particular microbes are returning annually to attack specific plants. Moving that crop to a significantly different location for a few years might break the cycle in that particular patch of soil. Ideally, give yourself about ten feet of separation between the new and the old plot.
Roses are not the only popular flower and garden plant to often be affected by a powdery white-to-gray layer of fungal spores from the White Powder Fungus, also called powdery mildew. The happy news is that, while unsightly, white powder fungi are not particularly damaging, and each fungus is particular to a type of plant, so other species in your garden ordinarily won't be contaminated. White powder mildew spreads in cool, moist environments and will take advantage of weak plants. There are organic treatments for white powder fungus, including cinnamon either sprinkled on dry or sprayed on; and baking soda seems to work as a preventative while Neem Oil might help to get rid of the powdery mildew. Copper sprays are the most common commercial treatment, but although copper is a natural and essential mineral, its concentration in the spray - along with the other chemicals that might be riding alongside - could not quite be called organic. Fortunately, the most effective step in combating white powder fungus is to carefully clip off affected leaves and dispose of them in such a way as not to spread the fungal spores or allow them to infiltrate your garden any further. A truly hot compost pile will take care of the spores, but throwing them in the trash might be your best bet. Then keep your plants watered from the base in dry times (don't water in the evenings), spaced out to improve airflow, and well fed with natural fertilizers.