SOURCE: Gardener's Supply

Gardener's Supply

August 11, 2011 09:06 ET

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

Most Common Complaint Among Gardeners -- Blossom-End Rot

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwire - Aug 11, 2011) - For gardeners in many parts of the country, now is the most challenging time, when garden pest and disease problems may be in full force. 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.

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.

"Spring's wet weather stressed plants and created ideal conditions for disease," explains Maree Gaetani, gardening relations, Gardener's Supply. "Currently, Blossom-End Rot is the most common complaint among gardeners."

When tomato plants appear lush and healthy and almost ready for harvest, Blossom-End Rot is discouraging when brown decay appears at the blossom end, spreading rapidly and spoiling the fruit.

"We recommend Rot-Stop for Blossom-End Rot, as this all-natural formula prevents calcium deficiency, the most common cause of blossom-end rot," continued Gaetani.

Gardeners can also learn prevention techniques from the Pest and Disease Detective and learn from Product Reviews how other gardeners found success with the recommended solution.

Putting the Detective 'On the Case'
Gardeners who aren't sure if they have the damage that is Blossom-End Rot or have spotted insects, or evidence of damage or disease on their plants can put the Pest and Disease Detective to work on their case by visiting, 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. More than 80 close-up, 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 Actinovate® and Serenade® Garden Disease Control; both are used by organic market gardeners since they can be used up to day of harvest, and both work on vegetables, flowers and lawns. Actinovate is effective on pythium blight, verticillium, fusarium, powdery mildew, brown patch, take-all patch, dollarspot, downy mildew, gray mold, root rot, damping off, crown rot, black spot, leaf spots, rusts and more.

Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) listed; Serenade 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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