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Prevention And Cures For Pests in a Home Vegetable Garden

Pesticides act against living creatures either by contact, when sprayed or dusted over them, or poisoning them when they feed on plant tissue containing the poisonous substance. Remember that the sprayed variety does coat the external parts of the plant wherever applied, or they are absorbed by the plant and remain for a period within all its tissues, so that any pest feeding upon any part of the sprayed plant is destroyed. The powder variety allows this type of pesticide to be carried throughout the plant in its sap (termed systemic). Systemic poisons are the best preventive measure against most pests amongst the home vegetable gardens of today. However, these systemic poisons are less effective as a quick control. A contact pesticide applied as soon as any infestation is observed does the job more swiftly, though probably less thoroughly. Check the label to see if both these two types of pesticides can be used in combination, which is effective against the widest possible range of pests.

When considering any pesticide, always consider the two most important considerations: human safety and plant health.

Read any instructions on the package or bottle carefully; they should include lists of the pests that the product will kill, the plants that it can be used on, and the plants that it might harm. Be sure to follow the instructions for quantities – too much of a given product can damage the plant and too little will be ineffective.

Also, please remember that most pesticides are poisonous to human beings. However, used as directed, they should be safe enough, but careless handling is dangerous. Always follow any safety instructions printed on the label to the letter and always wash your hands after using these products.

If you should decide to use pesticides, store them in a cool, dry place, along with any applicators and mixing containers. Labels should be firmly attached to packages and bottles for future identification. Always store these types of products out of the reach of any children – I even go so far as to say if possible to keep them in a locked cabinet.

Keep in mind that the latest approach in pest management is away from dependence on the preventive use of pesticides. Use methods other than pesticides whenever appropriate. It is less expensive and less risky.

The best way to grow plants in your home vegetable garden is to grow these plants in the best possible conditions (not always possible though is it?). If any type of disease occurs, remove and destroy the affected parts of the plant or discard the infected plant. Remember as you do this process that some diseases are airborne – easy to forget sometimes.

The chemicals or antibiotics that can cure fungus and bacterial diseases are called fungicides. As with insecticides, some of these are systemic (absorbed slowly into the plant tissues) and can therefore destroy microorganisms that attack any part of a plant.

Fungicides are not generally harmful to either plants or human beings. But it is, as always, essential to follow the safety instructions on the package. All fungicides labeled for use must be applied outside.

Products that combine a systemic pesticide and a systemic fungicide are also available. But because diseases are so much less likely than pests to attack plants, it is seldom necessary to use such products.

Do you have many common pests, such as potato bugs in your home vegetable garden?