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Pest Management
Posted by: John (IP Logged)
Date: August 17, 2009 05:51PM

I have a problem with my tomatoes. Can someone tell me what the yellow spots on the leaves, starting from the bottom leaves and moving gradually up to the higher leaves are caused by.

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Peter (IP Logged)
Date: August 17, 2009 07:41PM

Hi John,

There are quite a number of diseases that attach tomatoes. In our paid member area under Resources plant search tools, you can find a Plant health search and this will list all the possible diseases for tomatoes and what to do about them with organic methods. This is available for all the plants in our plant database.

There are three possible diseases based on your description of the symptoms: Mosiac Virus, Fusarium wilt or Bacterial spot.

The solutions to these are as follows:
1. If only some plants have the problem remove them and burn them do not compost them.
2. Spray plants with diluted neem oil or diluted compost tea. It must be good compost.
3. Ensure that you practice crop rotation in your garden. If the garden bed had tomatoes or another crop of the same family in the last planting such as potatoes, then the soil will be weakened and the likelihood of disease increased.
4. Practice clean cultivation, ie kept you garden clean, the disease can hand around in stuff
5. Add organic matter to the soil - ideally this should be good compost that has some life in it. Liquid manures are also good such as liquid cow manure, liquid seaweed and fish, liquid chicken manure. All these should be heavily diluted.

Happy gardening

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Lorraine (IP Logged)
Date: August 22, 2009 12:37AM

Hi All,

We've just embarked on creating an organic city vegie garden and all the info on this website will certainly help us work out what to do.

However, we have a major green ant problem on our whole property. I'm not sure if they will be a problem in the vegie garden but they are all through the lawn as well and the kids are always getting bitten. Everyone we know poisons theirs. We have avoided using insecticides but it's getting out of hand. Does anyone know of a safe way of managing green ants?? - for general outdoor comfort.

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Peter (IP Logged)
Date: August 22, 2009 08:23PM

Hi Lorraine,

Green ants also come into our food garden in certain months of the year, especially the warmer months. I do get bitten when kneeling down in the garden sometimes, but most often wear long pants in the garden and this stops the problem.

Ants do have a beneficial affect on food gardens in aerating the soil and they do eat some creatures that may feast on your food plants. We also have nests of green ants in our lawns at times and we leave them and keep away from them. With very young children this can be a problem, but we have educated our kids since toddlers on what they are. We have all been bitten by green ants and know they are not fatal but annoying so we keep away from them as best as possible.

I am not in favour of killing creatures in the garden as I feel they all have a place. The key is to create a balance. If there are a number of nests in your food garden and you really want to stop them totally there are some treatments you can use. This web site link gives some good clues.

Good luck.

Happy gardening

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Boon Keat (IP Logged)
Date: November 08, 2009 08:23PM

My Chinese mustard vegetables are full of holes eaten by a small white insect? How can I prevent them from destroying my plants
Boon Keat

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Belinda (IP Logged)
Date: September 14, 2010 04:32PM

Hi there
I am looking into netting over my vege garden and are hoping you can give some advice on the correct netting to use. I have come across one called vege net which is very fine that is stops fruit fly with a 17% shade factor . Would this netting be suitable and would it interfere with the pollination of some plants in the garden?

Thanks Belinda

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Peter (IP Logged)
Date: September 14, 2010 06:00PM

Hi Belinda,

My first question with your netting is, what are you trying to stop from getting into the garden. In my experience, preventing all birds from entering your garden is not good for overall garden health. Or perhaps its only fruit flies you are wanting to stop.

My other question is, what are you growing, because if all you want to do is stop fruit flies, there are other ways of doing that without netting.

I am not implying by these questions that I am against netting, sometimes, its the only thing left, but I always prefer to view it as the last resort.

Look forward to your answers so I can give you a bit more info.

Happy gardening

Re: Pest Management
Posted by: Anonymous User (IP Logged)
Date: March 30, 2011 12:51AM

Sometimes an unhealthy plant is suffering from a nutrient deficiency or even too much of any one nutrient. Plant nutrient deficiencies often manifest as foliage discoloration or distortion. Plants require a mix of nutrients to remain healthy. Nutrients that are needed in relatively large amounts are called the macronutrients. Plant macronutrients include: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur and magnesium.

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