The Great Outdoors


This is your final chance to prevent those nasty bacteria spores from splashing up onto the lower leaves of your tomatoes, roses, melons and squash plants, spores that cause spotting and ugly devastation to the lower foliage that then rises all the way up the entire plant. A simple layer of straw will keep the heavy rains and the “heavy-handed” waterer from causing the bacteria to jump up onto your plants.

The best time to lay down the straw is just before you plant and then simply plant right through it. Of course, you have probably already planted your garden so now you must work it in and around all of your plants. Also work straw around your permanent perennial plants as well as many of them also suffer from the same bacteria problems.

Fungus and viral problems are more common than bacteria in plants however the bacteria in your soil will cling to a leaf and then start to decay and spread. That is why it is important to remove any signs of bacterial decay by removing infected leaves and stem immediately to prevent the spread.

There are up to three million bacteria in just one spore and they are not all bad. Some bacteria help to gather nitrogen from the air and actually fertilize the plants. Others are used for speeding up composting and the breaking down of rotting debris.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer