Planet Enemies – Keeping them at bay

There are two basic ways to keep your plants enemies at bay:

Mechanical protection for the plants.

Applying insecticides and fungicides.

The first and most useful is the covered frame, such as a greenhouse. It consists usually of a wooden box, some eighteen inches to two feet square and about eight high, covered with glass, protecting cloth, mosquito netting or mosquito wire. The first two coverings have, of course, the additional advantage of retaining heat and protecting from cold, making it possible by their use to plant earlier than is otherwise safe. They are used extensively in getting an extra early and safe start with cucumbers, melons and the other vine vegetables.

For protecting newly-set plants, such as tomatoes or cabbage, from the cut-worm, there are stiff, tin, cardboard or tar paper collars, which are made several inches high and large enough to be put around the stem and penetrate an inch or so into the soil.

When applying poison powders, the home gardener should supply himself with a powder gun. If you are restricted to a single implement, however, it would be best to get one of the hand-powered, compressed-air sprayers. These are used for applying wet sprays, and should be supplied with one of the several forms of mist-making  nozzles, the non-cloggable automatic type being the best. For more extensive work a barrel pump, mounted on wheels, would be best, but one of the above will do a great deal of work in little time. Extension rods for use in spraying trees and vines may be obtained for either. For operations on a very small scale a good hand-syringe may be used, but in general it would be best to invest a few dollars more and get a small tank sprayer, as this throws a continuous stream or spray and holds a much larger amount of the spraying solution. Whatever type you choose,know that the cheaper the metal the faster it will corrode due to the chemicals used in them.

Just keep in mind, when using sprays and chemicals, these will also be getting into your fruits and veggies and into your soil and eventually your ground water, so be very careful as to which powders, sprays and chemicals you choose.  There are many variaties that are safer for your plants and your soil, many are all natural, so do you homework before you go after those pests and fungi!

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