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Fall Cleanup Reduces Pest Problems in the Garden

Improve next year’s garden harvest with a bit of fall cleanup.

Since many vegetable insects spend the winter in dead plant debris, a thorough fall cleaning helps reduce future infestations. The cabbage worms that ate holes in your broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts spend the winter as pupa in the plant debris. Cucumber beetles that attack a variety of plants including cucumbers find winter shelter under dead plants as they wait for next spring’s garden.

Diseased plants serve as a source of infection for next year’s garden. Disease causing fungi overwinter on the infected leaves, fruit and plants left in the garden. Remove and discard disease and insect infested plants this fall.  Check with your local municipality for the proper means of disposal.

And keep weeding. Many weeds are hosts for diseases and insects that attack our vegetables.

A bit more information: Make weeding an ongoing part of your gardening routine. Removing weeds when they appear and before they set seed means fewer weeds in next year’s garden. It also reduces the risk of insects and diseases in the current garden season as well as the following year.

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