How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Common environmental disorders

Frequently vegetables show symptoms similar to those caused by diseases or other pests. However, they may be caused by growing conditions rather than pest organisms. Some common symptoms include poor flavor, lack of developed fruit, slow growth, no emergence, wilting, spotting, or burning of foliage, and discoloration. Hot temperatures, changes in soil moisture and fertility, and harvesting too late may cause fruit to become bitter or lacking in flavor. Cool temperatures, lack of light, poor soil quality, drought, or excess water may cause plants to grow slowly, not develop properly, or not emerge at all. Improper soil pH or improper fertilizers may deprive plants of important nutrients, causing them to wilt or discolor. Common environmental disorders include blossom drop, sunscald, cold injury and frost damage, lack of pollination, nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, and water mismanagement.

Solutions

To maintain healthy vegetables, provide good plant health care. Plant at the proper time recommended for your specific area. Follow irrigation and fertilization requirements for your plant. Before planting, remove any plant residue and choose a soil best suited for your vegetable. Soils that are crusty, too salty, or too acidic may lead to further problems. Plant varieties recommended for your area, avoid crowding of plants, and maintain regular care.

Water-logged potato plant
Water-logged potato plant

Rocky soil causes forked carrots
Rocky soil causes forked carrots

Heat damaged cucumber
Heat damaged cucumber


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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