Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Plant diseases

Avoid Touching Your Vegetables When Their Leaves Are Wet

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Avoid touching plant leaves when they’re wet. Photo: Valentin Riess, Pexel

Immediately after it rains, early in the morning when the leaves of the plants are covered with dew, or even when you’ve just turned off the sprinkler after watering, it’s best to refrain from working in the vegetable garden … or indeed on plants in general.

That’s because that fungal and bacterial diseases—powdery mildew, blight, rust, etc.—multiply when leaves are wet and if you brush against the plant with your hand, a gardening tool or just the leg of your pants, there is a risk you’ll transfer them from a sick plant to a healthy one.

So, if possible, wait until the foliage has dried out completely before working in the garden.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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