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In a Nutshell

    On the whole plants are good at keeping themselves healthyDisease in the strict sense of the word happens when 1) a pathogen (like a fungus, bacterium, or virus) is present, 2) the plant is susceptible to this pathogen and 3) the environmental conditions are unfavorable for the plant

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On the whole plants are good at keeping themselves healthy. Disease in the strict sense of the word happens when a pathogen (like a fungus, bacterium, virus) is present on the plant or in the soil and the environmental conditions are unfavorable for the plant (too much humidity, drought, stress). Moreover, the plant has to be susceptible to this particular pathogen for the symptoms to develop. If any one of these things is not present (susceptibility in the plant, pathogen and unsuitable environment), the disease will not happen. Other disruptors of plant health are physiological disorders deriving from stresses such as drought or nutrient deficiency. Finally, pests can also damage crops and impair their growth, thus reducing yields.


To grow your plants healthy, you have to provide them with appropriate amounts of water, nutrients, and the proper environmental conditions. Moreover, a good soil organic content and optimal pH are necessary in some cases to secure your harvest. Make sure to know how much sunlight and space your plants need before planting and which soils they prefer. Prevention of disease involves mainly the avoidance of stressful conditions for the plant. This requires good management practices in the field during the growing season.

Biological Control

Balanced fertilization, appropriate water supply and the organic carbon content in the soil are important to keep the plant healthy. In case of disease, biological treatments usually include insecticidal soaps, neem extract, formulations containing the bacteria Bacillus thurigiensis or fungi of the genus Trichoderma, as well as Spinosad. Other formulations accepted in organic farming are copper or sulfur-based fungicides, for example. Finally beneficial insects can be promoted or introduced to reduce the population of a pest.

Chemical Control

No chemical control needed!

Preventive Measures

    Buy your planting material from certified sourcesExamine the transplants carefully before buying themPlant crops with sufficient spacing to allow for good ventilationChoose the site (soil, weather) carefully and make sure not to sow susceptible varietiesFertilize with the right fertilizer mixture and the balanced nutrient supplyDo not over-water or over-fertilizeDo not touch healthy plants after touching infected plantsAvoid extreme temperature changesMaintain a high number of different varieties of plants around fieldsIf treating against a plague, use specific products that do not affect beneficial insectsRemoved diseased leaves, fruit or branches at the right time during the growing seasonIn the fall, clean up plant debris from the field or orchard and burn them