Nonchemical Disease Control: Cultural Management
This post will provide much useful information on non-chemical disease control resistance and exclusion.
Effective disease control through resistance (a plant’s tolerance or immunity to a disease) is based on knowledge of the diseases that occur in an area. Always choose varieties of plants that are adapted to Colorado growing conditions. Many vegetable, fruit and ornamental plant varieties are available with resistance to one or more diseases.
For example, when purchasing tomato varieties, always select plants labeled “VFN,” “VFNA,” “VFNT,” etc. This indicates that the plants are resistant to Verticillium wilt (V), Fusarium wilt (F), southern root-knot nematode (N), early blight (A), or tobacco (tomato) mosaic virus (T). Selecting resistant plants may eliminate many disease problems. Contact your Colorado State University Extension county office for lists of plant varieties that are successfully grown in this area.
Exclusion is preventing the entrance and establishment of disease-causing organisms (pathogens) into areas where plants are grown. This means avoid bringing diseases into the garden or moving them around within the garden.
Use certified, disease-free seed or transplants. Examine the leaves and root systems of transplants and eliminate or destroy diseased plants. Either raise your own transplants in sterilized beds or buy them from a reputable dealer. Do not purchase transplants with galls or swellings on their roots or plants that have a brown discoloration on the stem at the ground line. Galls or swellings may indicate root-knot nematode infection. A brown stem discoloration may mean the presence of damping-off organisms.
Also, avoid transporting soil or tools from known disease areas to disease-free areas.