Good practices equal happy plants

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Good practices equal happy plants

Post  Nina on Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:56 pm

I just attended a meeting in California on "sudden oak death", and heard a lot about deaths of trees caused by new beetles, new pathogens, etc. The most strikingly obvious take-home message was: it's not the pathogens, it's the practices. A lot of the east-coast nurseries that are getting hit repeatedly by the sudden oak death pathogen are *not* unlucky victims; they are TERRIBLE nurseries (hold your tongue, Jim; we aren't naming any names here!). So here's a short list of things not to do:

1) Do not move firewood around. It's one of the all-time worst things you can do that will transport beetles.

2) Do not water your plants and leave big standing puddles. Do not allow your plants to tip over into the puddles. Apparently a 13-second dunk is enough to expose the leaves to blight pathogens.

3) Do not buy plants from other states/countries and then blithely plant them in your yard or into the landscape (California planted some nursery-raised manzanita out in wild areas to restock native populations and introduced a pathogen that is wiping out the manzanita). This is, of course, impossible advice to follow, since almost no nursery stock is produced locally. However, at least recognise that this is the main reason we've had so many problems in the last few decades: the creation of the European Union, with its relaxation of border restrictions on the movement of plants, has been an absolute catastrophe for native areas.

4) Do not throw sick plants into a pile next to a stream. Compost your dead plants.

5) That nutty nursery where you sometimes find bargains because the people who run it are idiots? Don't buy there any more. It's hard times for good nurseries. One of the best-run nurseries in California just filed for chapter 11; if a great nursery like that has troubles, you know other good nurseries have them, too. Support those good nurseries.


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Re: Good practices equal happy plants

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:31 pm

4) Do not throw sick plants into a pile next to a stream. Compost your dead plants.

I thought composting diseased plants was a BIG No-No.

I'd recommend that, if you live in the country, you should burn dead plants. Otherwise put them into the GARBAGE and not into the yard waste pile where they will be taken to a municipal shredding/composting facility.

Am I wrong, Nina?

Almost all of my firewood, by the way, has one borer or another in it. It stays in the woodpile (well away from my house) until I burn it -- snap, crackle and pop!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Good practices equal happy plants

Post  Nina on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:42 pm

If you really compost, as in, put together a pile of plant material that HEATS UP as it decomposes, then composting will kill all the pathogens. We aren't allowed to burn things in my county, so I'm composting.

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