DIY Network

Diseases, Insects and Animals

These three things constantly threaten gardens. Here are some effective tactics for keeping these threats at bay.

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okra plants are susceptible to root disease
Photo 2 of 6Okra plants are susceptible to root-knot nematode, microscopic worms that live in soil and attack plant roots.

Okra Pests(2 of 6)

Be sure to fertilize with compost, which produces fungi that attack nematodes. Some other pests of okra include Japanese beetles, corn earworm and virus wilt. If you must use an approved garden insecticide, spray the base and leaves of the plant. Your local garden center can recommend the best and most safe pesticide.

The best way to provide nutrients to your plants is through fertilizers and amendment. To add the fertilizer at midseason to the watermelons, apply 3-5-5 fertilizer into the soil around the base; then water the area to prevent burning from the fertilizer. Be sure to keep the soil evenly moist and avoid wetting the leaves. Slight wilting of the leaves is normal in the middle of hot summer days, but do not allow the soil to become so dry that the leaves remain wilted into the evening.

You can also spray plants with liquid and water-soluble fertilizers. Time the applications for early morning, early evening or a cloudy day. Water evaporates more slowly at these times and the crops absorb more nutrients.

Next Photo: Fertilizer