Jane Billinghurst, WSU Skagit County Extension Master Gardener volunteer
Posted April 29, 2020
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In a recent post, I outlined the amazing free bulletins WSU Extension provides for people wanting to grow vegetables at home. Here are the two main links where these resources, tailored specifically for growing conditions in western Washington, can be found:
After you have planned and planted your garden, the next item on your list is to protect your hard work and keep your vegetables healthy.
The bulletins help here. There is info, for example, on dealing with voles and using row covers to keep insects away from your veggies.
But there’s another way to access info about dealing with pests and diseases that are common in western Washington. If you suspect a particular bug or disease, you can go to Hortsense and check out what the damage caused by those bugs and diseases looks like. The site then describes the biology of the pest or disease, lists non-chemical management options available to you, and provides general links to pesticide information.
WSU Extension also has a bulletin that explains how Integrated Pest Management works—that is, choosing the least invasive way of dealing with pests and diseases and keeping your vegetables healthy. Where and how you plant and your choice of what to plant all make an enormous difference to how healthy your vegetable garden will be. If you understand IPM (both in the planning stages and after you’ve planted your vegetables), you can set yourself up for success and have fewer pests and diseases to deal with in the long run.
WSU Skagit County Extension Master Gardener plant clinics are here to help if you’d like more info about how best to deal with a plant problem. The Master Gardeners (MGs) are not offering in-person plant clinics at the moment, but they’re taking inquiries via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also leave a phone message at 360-395-2368. Please provide the location and a detailed description of the problem, plant, or insect. Send digital photos if possible. Also, provide a phone number in case the MGs have more questions. You can find more information here.