SOURCE: Gardener's Supply

Gardener's Supply

May 03, 2010 08:06 ET

Gardener's Supply Online 'Pest and Disease Detective' Aids Bug- and Blight-Beleaguered Gardeners

New Tool Helps Identify, Troubleshoot Garden Pests and Diseases

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwire - May 3, 2010) -  For gardeners in many parts of the country, the 2009 growing season presented some of the most challenging garden pest and disease problems in recent memory. For organic gardeners who don't want to use an herbicide that harms every insect -- it can be difficult to know what is causing the problem. Now, gardeners can turn to a free online resource, created by Gardener's Supply that helps identify pests and diseases while providing earth-friendly solutions.
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Gardener's Supply, an award-winning online and catalog retailer, developed the tool to aid gardeners in the sometimes maddening task of identifying, and taking action against, what's destroying their plants.

"Last summer's wet weather stressed plants and created ideal conditions for disease," explains Kathy LaLiberte, Gardener's Supply Director of Gardening. "Many home gardeners lost their tomato plants to late blight, and understandably were frustrated and disappointed when they couldn't identify the cause, much less solve the problem. This season, we're hopeful conditions will improve, but gardeners will also be better prepared to respond."

Putting the Detective 'On the Case'
Gardeners who spot insects, evidence, damage or disease on their plants can put the Pest and Disease Detective to work on their case by visiting www.gardeners.com, clicking on the Pest and Disease Detective link and answering a few simple questions about the type of plant affected, and the type of damage seen.

The Detective generates a list of plant-specific suspects with detailed images to match. With more than 80 close-ups, color photographs make it easy for gardeners to investigate which pests or diseases might be to blame.

Gardeners may view an unlimited number of detailed profiles -- which include insect life cycles, feeding and disease patterns, and recommended counter-attacks -- to determine exactly what's plaguing their plants. The Detective also recommends preventative strategies to keep plants healthy and minimize damage, and generates a list of effective, earth-friendly controls…especially important to gardeners who don't want to use harsh chemicals on their food.

The Detective also solicits suggestions and images from other gardeners to create an expanding arsenal of information as the season progresses. There's advice for dealing with animal pests such as rabbits, groundhogs, birds and others, as well as ideas for attracting and protecting beneficial insects, especially those that prey on problem pests.

Some of the most frequently recommended product solutions include Serenade® Garden Disease Control organic market gardeners use this product to control foliar diseases; it's so safe you can spray and harvest the same day. Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed; it contains Bacillus subtilis, a soil-dwelling bacterium that controls leaf blight, black mold, powdery mildew and many other diseases. To prevent slugs, Slug Magic consists of pellets that contain the active ingredient iron phosphate, a naturally occurring mineral. Once ingested, slugs stop eating and die within a few days. Once sprinkled on the soil surface near affected plants, the pellets remain effective for a full two weeks even if it rains.

Founded in 1983, Gardener's Supply is an employee-owned company of avid gardeners providing garden-tested, earth-friendly products combined with practical information. Located in Burlington, Vermont, the company has won many awards for its patented products and innovative management style.

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