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Grown Here at Home: Tips to combat pests and disease in your garden

(WDBJ)
Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 9:11 AM EDT
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At the Mountain View Community Garden in Roanoke, there are lots of things growing. This is where the Master Gardeners have their demonstration beds. Evan O'Neill with

has some tips to help you grow a healthy garden.

"The thing that we like to recommend is to do as much work up front as you possibly can," said O'Neill.

The first tip starts with the soil.

"Make sure you have well-drained soil. Wet soil will increase the amount of disease you can get on your plants," O'Neill said.

There are ways you can keep pests under control, too.

You can look at working with some companion planting. It's going to be different for every plant you do. There's going to be a certain plant for tomatoes that work well. And if we look at some of the beds around here you'll see basil planted in-between our tomato plants. In some other beds you'll see marigolds," O'Neill explained.

Proper spacing of your plants and not mixing varieties can help, as well. And if you decide to spray to get rid of pests.

"Read the label. Make sure you're following the instructions. And you want to make sure you identify your pests correctly. If you think it's one disease and it's a different one and you're treating for the one, you could be not treating the exact symptom," said O'Neill.

The main thing here is to pay attention to your crops.

"If you can catch it, catch it early, because the earlier you catch it the better chance you have at eliminating the disease or the pest that's taking over your garden," O'Neill said.

Here's some helpful links from the Virginia Cooperative Extension:

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