The Napier Mail - - YOUR HEALTH -

Au­tumn is a good time to think about the health of your vege gar­den and take steps to avoid pass­ing on dis­eases from sea­son to sea­son.

1. Take note while har­vest­ing and clear­ing out beds of which va­ri­eties cropped well as well as those which dis­ap­peared be­hind a white veil of pow­dery mildew. Did wind, weather or lo­ca­tion make any dif­fer­ence to a par­tic­u­lar crop? Write it all down as a re­minder for next spring.

2. Some va­ri­eties re­sist dis­ease and crop bet­ter. Save seed from those plants which did ex­cep­tion­ally well. (Re­mem­ber that hy­brids won’t breed true.) Re­search bet­ter va­ri­eties to re­place this year’s duds. If you’ve got the space, grow­ing a mix of cul­ti­vars re­duces over­all ex­po­sure to dis­ease sever­ity and in­creases the odds that at least some will cope with what­ever the weather gets up to.

3. Healthy soil grows healthy plants. Adding or­ganic mat­ter im­proves all soil types by feed­ing the micro­organ­isms that cre­ate the fer­til­ity and struc­ture of the soil. So be lav­ish with com­post

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