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Garden clean-up fights bad bugs

Leaf-footed bugs, a close relative to stink bugs, like to attack tomatoes. They lay their eggs on old tomato vines. If those vines are not removed, those bugs will reappear next spring.
Leaf-footed bugs, a close relative to stink bugs, like to attack tomatoes. They lay their eggs on old tomato vines. If those vines are not removed, those bugs will reappear next spring. File photo

Solve summer garden problems with a little effort this month. Cleaning up the remainders of your warm-weather vegetables can go a long ways in preventing the re-emergence of plant diseases and pests.

For example, aging tomato vines may be harboring leaf-footed bugs. Pull out the old vines and dispose of them; any pest eggs will leave your garden along with the host plant.

Or old squash vines may be full of fungal diseases. Those spores will just hang around, waiting to infect new plants, if the old vines aren’t removed.

Dispose of buggy or diseased plants in the trash. Compost only plants that look free of disease and pests.

▪  To help prevent leaf curl, apply a copper fungicide spray to peach and nectarine trees after they lose their remaining leaves this month. Leaf curl, which shows up in the spring, is caused by a fungus that winters as spores on the limbs and around the tree in fallen leaves. Sprays are most effective if applied now. And if you had a leaf curl outbreak, remember to clean up and discard (not compost) those fallen leaves.

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