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Diseases in your vegetable or plant garden are often caused by harmful fungi or viruses that suck up nutrients and affect surrounding crops. Some of the most common causes of crop disease include a lack of airflow, improper drainage of the soil and weather that increases atmospheric moisture.

Since prevention is always better than cure, it’s highly recommended that you choose to plant high-quality seeds that are resistant to attack from fungi and viruses. But that’s not all; you’ll need to keep your garden beds clean, use enough organic matter, water your plants well, and rotate your crops. Here are some of the common diseases you’ll find in your vegetable garden.

Anthracnose appears on the infected plant as dark-colored lesions and attacks the stem, as well as the fruit. Beans, cucumbers, and tomatoes are most commonly infected by this disease. You can treat it using a neem oil spray or liquid copper solution on your crop once you begin to observe the pink sores.

If you’re growing cabbage, spinach, herbs or lettuce in your garden, it’s likely that they’ll get infected by club root, a disease that affects brassica types. You’ll observe that the leaves of these leafy greens wilt during the daytime when it gets too warm, while outer and older leaves become yellow-colored and fall off. Also, the roots will appear infected as well and become swollen.

There’s no cure for the disease considering that this microorganism lives in the soil, so there’s no point in using fungicides. Instead, you can take strict measures as to selecting premium varieties of seeds and make a habit of rotating your crops every year.

Another dangerous disease that can negatively impact your yield for fruit-types and tubers is the early blight. You can tell that your crop is suffering from the disease by noticing the dark-colored spots that appear on leaves and eventually transform into rings.

Moreover, you’ll find symptoms on your produce as well; fruits and tubers sunken patches on them. To keep your crops resistant, opt for a fungicide that’s copper-based and use it before the disease begins to surface. Since you can’t exactly tell when early blight will strike, you can instead begin applying it whenever the weather forecast predicts lengthy rain spells.

The mosaic virus is one that you’ve probably heard about in science class but unlike just regular garden plants, these have the potential of harming your peppers, beans, and tomatoes. You’ll be able to spot it in your crop by the sight of oddly green or yellow colored veins.

Your plants won’t be growing as rapidly and the leaves will begin to shrivel up. You can keep it from affecting your healthy crops by removing the ones that are infected. Don’t forget; there are certain pests, such as hoppers and aphids that act as carriers of the disease, so make sure to keep them away well.

There are a good many other crop diseases that can occur, which is why you should keep an eye on the appearance of your crops. This helps you to detect the spread of any disease and allows you to stop it using treatments or preventative measures. Happy farming!

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Ten ‘Never Leave Them Out’ Traveler’s Checklist Items

There is nothing worse than finding yourself overseas on that “dream vacation” and suddenly realize that the dream is now a nightmare. Plan carefully because it will not do to run off to Africa on safari at a moment’s notice, trusting in a lucky rabbit’s foot keychain for protection. Sure, grabbing a passport and mosquito repellent will get you there, but you can’t imagine the inconveniences that arise without the items below. The following will tip the scales in your favor.

1. A visa is required to enter a country, and specifies on what terms the visitor is there (tourist, business, work), and how many days the visitor may stay. Sometimes the visa can be obtained at the customs desk of the destination country, but often the visa must be requested and obtained from the country’s embassy before the visitor leaves home. This process takes time, and some embassies are notoriously slow in approving visas, or even reluctant to do so at all.

2. If you plan on renting a car in the destination country, you must find out what is required in order to do so. Will your passport or current license do the trick, or should you apply for an international driver’s license? How much will insurance cost?

3. Photocopies! Make photocopies of your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, social security card, and any other important documents you’ll be carrying with you. One extra set should go with the traveler in a separate place in the luggage from the originals, and a second set should stay with a trusted relative or friend. If, for some reason, you lose the paperwork, you can call home to get the necessary numbers, or a friend can fax them to the officials.

4. Traveler’s insurance is always a good idea. Always. Even if it is never used – which, by the way, would be a good thing, it’s inexpensive and worth it.

5. Prescription medication should be packed, along with the actual written prescription from the doctor. An extra set of eyeglasses or contacts is also a good idea. The medication should always be packaged in original correctly-labeled bottles. An obscure, unmarked bottle or bag of drug in the luggage will tie things up considerably in the airport customs department.

6. A credit card company will become suspicious if an account based in, say, Iowa begins making charges in Madagascar. Always contact the credit card companies to alert them that you’ll be making charges in specific locations, preventing their alarm and temporary suspension of the account.

7. Mentally prepare yourself for an exhausting trip to and from the destination. Be ready for it, overseas travel is grueling, even if all goes well.

8. Take a record of important contact numbers, including close family, the doctor, the dentist, the lawyer, the bank, credit card companies, and the numbers for U.S. Embassies in the destination locations. Relatives should have an itinerary, and an option of emergency contact numbers.

9. Will your cell phone work in the destination country? Probably not. You should investigate his options, but in most cases, it is worth the extra expense and effort to have a cell phone available for use overseas.

10. Search online for forums run by Americans (or natives of the traveler’s country) who live in the destination country as expatriates. They will have experience and wisdom that other tourists may never discover about life in that country. A simple thing like knowing that certain vegetables or street vendor foods are prone to causing stomach upset can make all the difference in enjoying a vacation spot.

Preparation for an overseas vacation is key to getting the most enjoyment from it. In this case, it helps to think like a pessimist, “Something is bound to go wrong,” and be ready. Of course once you reach the destination, it is important to have fun!

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