Just like people, strong, healthy plants are more able to fight off infection than weak, malnourished ones. Here's how to keep yours in shape.
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A neat garden also helps to keep diseases at bay. Ensure that sources of infection, such as dead leaves, harvested plants and nearby weeds, are removed at the first opportunity. Burn or discard any diseased material; don't compost it because infection could spread.
Although not easy in a small garden, it is advisable to practice crop rotation, where related groups of crops are grown together and moved to a new bed each year, helping to prevent the buildup of diseases in the soil. Where diseases are known to be a problem, try growing resistant varieties. Be aware that plants brought into your garden can introduce disease, so check any purchases or gifts carefully before planting.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007