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How plants keep bad bacteria outs


#1

Plant diseases can be difficult to diagnose. So often, they display the same symptoms as plants that are perfectly healthy, except for stresses imposed upon them by our poor cultural practices. When a plant is diseased, it is because of a bacteria, fungus, or virus.

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1) Bacteria

There are several symptoms of bacterial infection. One is leaf spot. In this case, the bacteria that attacks the plants, produces a toxic chemical that kills the surrounding plant cells. The plant then reacts defensively by killing off the surrounding plant cells, thereby isolating the infected cells.

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Bacteria can spread in several ways, including insects, splashing water, other diseased plants, or tools. They enter plants through tiny openings either through damage, or cuts, but also through natural opens in the plant itself.

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2) Fungi

Fungal spores are very small and light, and can travel great distances through the air to infect other plants or trees. They are also spread by water, animals and insects, and people.

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The best way to prevent fungi from attacking your plants is to buy disease resistant varieties whenever possible. Other ways include minimizing the amount of water contacting foliage. Water at the soil level and early in the day. This allows foliage to dry out quickly, should it become wet.

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3) Viruses

Unlike bacteria and fungi, viruses are not spread by water or wind. Instead, they must physically enter the plant. One of the most common vectors of viruses are insects. Insects feed on infected plants and transmit the viruses to healthy plants when they feed again.

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It is difficult to prevent viruses from affecting your plants. Your best efforts will be to look for virus-resistant cultivars, provide physical barriers, such as floating row covers, or to actively eliminate vectoring pests from entering your garden.

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In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as earthenware crocks, pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.