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Re: CULT: Spraying

From: Bill Shear <BILLS@hsc.edu>

>What are you spraying them with and is it readily available?  Would you
>please share from your extensive experience some timely tips for relative
>newbies?  I'd welcome suggestions from any others in a similar climate --
>Zone 5, with a sandy loam soil.
Please, Betty, don't be so eager to spray!  If and when you have a problem
there will be plenty of time to either solve it the easy way or to apply,
as a last resort, some chemical remedy.

Somehow plants have survived for millions of years previously without
"sprays."  We can find safe and healthy ways to help them continue doing so.

Again I urge using common sense with pest problems.  The first line of
defense is a careful, daily (or as often as you can do it) inspection of
the garden.  Problems can be dealt with while they are still small.
Secondly, if you have a small or modest number of plants, insects can be
eliminated by hand (wiping off aphids, for example) or with nontoxic sprays
(such as insecticidal soap) and such diseases as leaf spot can be limited
by trimming infected leaves and burning them.  Thirdly, garden sanitation
can do as much for your plants as public sanitation has done for human
health.  Keep dead and diseased plant material cleaned up and burnt, and
keep your soil healthy with plenty of organic matter.  For irises in
particular, good air circulation is essential--reduce crowding of plants.

And so on.  You've heard it all before.  I'll go back to my nap
now--tedious old fool!

Bill Shear
Department of Biology
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943
FAX (804)223-6374

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