Author Archives: Rachael Elizabeth

A Guide to Disease Controllers in Urban Vegetable Gardens

It’s more than a labor of love; your garden is a symbol of life. Syracuse-area gardens attract pests and disease that cause moderate to severe damage. Controlling diseases before they spread is optimal. Deciding on the best course of action is where it all begins.

Devise a Plan

Planning your lawn and garden maintenance in the spring is the key to success in Onondaga County. If your lawn is in good shape, there’s less chance any diseases will spread to your garden. Map out your garden. Decide which vegetables to plant, and see which vegetables work together as companion plants.

Disease and Pest Management

Before buying any pest control product, you’ll need to check with city codes to be sure it’s legal to use. Some fertilizers and chemical pesticides are not suitable for certain soils. The Cornell University Small Farms Program suggests using organic fertilizers and pest control as often as possible.

Best practice ways to protect from disease and unwanted insects include:

Soil testing for pH balance of alkalinity and acidity. Choose your plants based on moisture and the total sunlight hours they’ll receive. Look at your garden several times a day to see when it gets partial sun and full sun.

  • Plant disease-resistant crops and cultivars.
  • Rotate crops per season.
  • Water the plants at their roots and stems to keep leaves from getting wet.
  • Remove all diseased plants and keep them from touching healthy vegetation.
  • Use clean soil and mulch – disease-infused dirt spreads spores to healthy plants. 
  • Follow state regulations that limit the transport of firewood so your load of campfire wood doesn’t accidentally spread invasive pests.  

Identify the Plant Disease


Knowing which disease is infecting your plants is the first step to fighting it. Climate, environment and nearby vegetation can invite various diseases to your vegetable plant. Here are some of the most common problems. Continue reading →