Table of contents:
- Compliance with crop rotation
- Allelopathy application
- Introducing repellents
- Compliance with agrotechnical practices
- Compliance with sanitary and preventive measures
Most recommendations for caring for vegetable crops necessarily contain examples of the use of chemicals that can be used to deal with certain problems of vegetable gardens. However, growing crops "for yourself", you must think: is it possible to do without chemistry? And it turns out you can! Healthy garden beds are not fiction, they are reality based on a competent approach to plant and soil care.
Compliance with crop rotation
The first thing to understand when striving to be sustainable with your products is that healthy plants grow on healthy soil. That is why, when planning planting in your beds in the spring, you need to remember about crop rotation. Observing the rules of the sequence of growing crops, you will not only improve the conditions for their growth, correctly distribute the nutrients contained in the soil, reduce the need for additional fertilizers, but also naturally increase the yield.
One of the main principles of crop rotation is the alternation of crops belonging to different families. This approach naturally protects plants from disease and the soil from the accumulation of infections and root secretions.
The second rule is the placement of crops in a certain order regarding their aggressiveness in relation to nutrition. So, if you brought manure into the beds and planted cabbage, the next year your beds will be depleted in microelements, if the cabbage got on the fertilized soil after a few years, thanks to its powerful root system it will take its nutrition, but the organic matter introduced all these years will work for the harvest of other crops and you will not have to apply additional fertilizers to your garden.
And the third principle of crop rotation is the possibility of alternate rest for each plot of land involved in the crop rotation. This is also an excellent prevention for the further growing of healthy crops. And if the land is not kept under black fallow (just dug up), but planted with green manure, then there will be no need to apply fertilizers.
We will tell you more about crop rotation in the near future.
The correct neighborhood of crops also plays a very important role in the spread of diseases and pests. It is very important to remember that the chemical secretions of plants can both depress and heal neighbors, and this property is called allelopathy.
For example, lettuce helps to strengthen and improve cucumbers, garlic protects strawberries from nematodes, and onions repels carrot pests.
At the same time, tomatoes, fennel and sunflowers oppress their neighbors, significantly reducing their yield.
It is also good to plant zucchini and potatoes, radishes and cabbage, dill and carrots, spinach and radish next to it. Asparagus, Chinese cabbage and Brussels sprouts, parsnips can go along with anything.
Another method that allows you to care for vegetables without chemistry is the use of repellent plants in planting. What it is? This is the placement in vegetable beds of crops that emit aromatic substances that do not allow pests to find those plants they feed on.
So, we all know marigolds scare away cabbage fly, aphids, nematodes with their phytoncides.
Peppermint does not like cabbage white, aphids, ants and earthen fleas.
Nasturtium is an excellent defense against whitefly, Colorado potato beetle, aphids and cabbage caterpillars.
Lavender drives ants out of the beds.
In addition, repellent plants in most cases also have insecticidal properties. This allows them to be used as infusions and decoctions in the fight against pests and diseases. So, against aphids, infusions of onion husks, marigolds, chamomile, pine needles, nettles, a decoction of tomato tops help.
Reduces the attacks of the Colorado potato beetle by spraying potato beds with calendula tincture.
Leaf-gnawing caterpillars are deterred by infusions of onion husks, potato tops and burdock.
It is good to fight late blight of tomatoes by spraying the plantings with tincture of green onion arrows.
However, despite the fact that repellent plants are familiar to us crops, they contain glycosides, alkaloids, esters and other chemical elements, the precautions in handling which should be the same as when working with chemicals.
Compliance with agrotechnical practices
Pest and disease control methods are good, but disease prevention and pest resistance are better. It consists in observing agrotechnical methods that apply to a particular culture.
So, for example, the keel of cabbage so familiar to us most often affects the roots of plants with an excess of soil moisture, for the same reason the tips of the leaves of garlic and onions turn white. From a lack of moisture, a light speck appears on the tops of the peppers, turning into rot. Excess nitrogen, irregular and insufficient watering of cucumbers favors the development of powdery mildew on them. White rot of pumpkin, in most cases, is the result of thickened crop plantings.
At the same time, competent watering, adherence to the recommended planting schemes, timely weed control, loosening and mulching of the soil allow plants to remain healthy and resist the effects of sucking insects.
Compliance with sanitary and preventive measures
And of course, speaking about the principles of pest and disease control in our gardens, one cannot but recall the importance of observing sanitary and preventive measures. They consist mainly in the destruction of diseased crop residues, carrion and harvest not harvested in time. All that is left in the garden - either carries the spores of diseases, or is a refuge for pests. Therefore, our gardens should be well-groomed in the winter.