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Author: Jordan Sandoval

Strawflowers

The strawflower, often called the Everlasting Daisy or Paper Daisy, is native to Australia. In fact, these pretty creatures are considered to be wildflowers there. But in other countries, specifically in the United States, strawflowers are cultivated by gardeners because of their charming beauty. Strawflowers belong to the daisy family. However, this animated and vibrant plant produces blooms that are quite distinctive—and yes, blooms that are truly fascinating. Strawflowers contain less moisture than other flowers, making them ideal for drying. Hence for fresh floral arrangement, it is best to pick strawflowers in the morning when they contain highest amounts of moisture. Strawflowers naturally...

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Cilantro

Cilantro, often called Chinese Parsley, was originated in the Mediterranean. It is common in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian dishes. In fact, no salsa is complete without Cilantro. Well, Cilantro has quite a distinctive taste, some say it’s soapy, while others say it is kind of “buggy”.

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Basil

You probably know why Basil is often called the King of herbs. One reason is because Basil is the one of most sought herbs in cooking. If you want a dash of kitchen magic, then the aroma and taste of Basil can instantly add that extra flavor to your dish.

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Gomphrena

Gomphrena (gomphrena globosa) may sound a bit odd, but if you want a wonderful add-on to your home garden then you may as well get used to this name. The gomphrena flower is also known as the globe flower or globe amaranth, and is native to Panama and Guatemala. As the name suggests, the gomphrena produces globe-shaped blossoms with papery bracts in dainty shades of lavender, purple, pink, red, magenta, blue, orange and white. The gomphrena’s unique texture and beauty are highly valued for dried flower or cut flower arrangements. A gomphrena can reach about 25cm to 45cm in...

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Gaillardia

Among the members of the Asteraceae family, many gardeners favor the gaillardia flower, also called blanket flowers. True to its name, blanket flowers self-seed easily so they can quickly cloak your entire garden. But just to be clear, gaillardias are not invasive and will spread only as far and wide as you want them to be. This astounding carpet of brightly-colored blooms is a perfect addition to meadow gardens and mass plantings. Generally, the gaillardia flower’s cone center is encircled by fiery red or orange, daisy-like serrated petals, tipped in gold. The foliage is vibrant green with hairy, soft...

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White Mold

About the Disease: The white mold disease is the fungal disease that mainly affects the vegetable crops. For instance, the carrots, beans, lettuce and tomatoes are the main plants that get affected by the fungus. Cabbage can also get affected. In many of the diseases, caused by the fungus in the cucurbits, you can clearly observe the leaf spots on the entire length of the upper and lower portions of the leaf. But in this case, you cannot observe such leaf spots. Instead the main region that gets affected is the stem region and the fruit region. Symptoms: The main symptom that can be observed is the infected fruit. The infected stem will be fully filled with the white colored powder. The fungal growth on the layer of fruits and on the surface of stem can be observed in the form of a white fluffy layer. The cottony growth is one of the characteristic features of the plant affected by this fungus. This rot may occur either during the growing phase or post harvest period. The fruits will get infected very easily. They will become rotten and watery. Sclerotia can be seen within these fruits, after they rot completely. Sclerotia actually refer to the growth of the fungus in the fruits. This will be occurring in the form of a raised structure and is dark black in color. Pathogens:...

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Powdery Mildew

About the Disease: The powdery mild dew infects all kinds of cucurbits. It is a fungal disease. Symptoms: The main symptom that is seen is the pale yellow colored spots that are found all over the surface of the leaves. These spots then get converted to large blotches. This will be covering the total stretch of the leaf. These blotches will also be covering the regions of the stem and the petiole. The whole foliage is covered with the infected fungal spores. The fruits will ripen before the actual time. Pathogens: Podosphaera xanthii is the main causative agent. Humid conditions are needed for the infection to occur. Time of Occurrence: This mainly occurs in the humid conditions. When the weather is warm and dry, this is the best condition for the development of the new fungal spores. Then the disease easily spreads from one plant to another. The old leaves or the mature ones are more prone to be attacked by the fungal disease than the young leaves. Conditions Favoring Disease: The temperature that can easily favor the growth of the fungus and the progression of the disease is around 68 to 81 F. Disease Management: The most sensible way to control the disease is by using the resistant varieties. Thus when you plan to cultivate the crops, you must choose healthy ones as well as those varieties that...

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Phytophthora Blight

About the Disease: This disease will be infected crops like peppers, the eggplants and tomatoes. It can also affect some variety of beans. The cucurbit crops will be mainly affected. Symptoms: There will be many irregular and giant spots, all over the surface of the leaves in the plants. The leaf petiole will have many lesions. The stem will also be seen with many lesions. Those fruits that are infected will be very soft. It will be fully covered with some white colored powder. This refers to the fungus growth on the fruits. Pathogens: Phytophthora capsici is the main pathogen that is involved in causing the disease. Time of Occurrence: During the late summer, you can expect to see the plants to get affected by this disease. Conditions Favoring Disease: When the weather is a little wet as well as cool, it seems to be a favorable condition for the progression of the disease. The main mode of dispersal of the fungal spores is through the wind or water. There can be so many resilient spores that still thrive in the soil. There will be an indefinite count of such spores. Thus you can never predict the extent to which the crops or the yield can get affected in one season. There can also be some amount of infested residue of the infected crops. Disease Management: Usually the resistant...

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Gummy Stem Blight

About the Disease: The Gummy Stem Blight diseases as well as the black rot disease are quite similar. In fact the causative agent for the Gummy Stem Blight is the same as the black rot. Symptoms: This mainly involves the infection of the stems and the leaves of the plant. The main symptom that is observed is that the leaves turn brown in color, especially at the edges. In plants like cucumber or squash, you can find that the leaves have a brown wedge. The disease spreads from the leaf edges to the leaf tissues fully. In the melon plants, usually the browning will progress and discoloration of leaves is seen. This is mainly present in between the veins or it forms brown spots. Around all these leaf spots, you can observe the yellow colored halo. This is a characteristic feature in all the plants affected by this disease. The old spots will dry out and form cracks throughout the length of the plant. The winter squash can get affected with the black rot infection but it might not get affected by the stem blight disease. The fruit rot in its initial stages look as though the plant is soaked and finally the fruit turns completely black in color. On the regions of the stem, tan lesions will start to develop. The stem is the most affected region. On...

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Downy Mildew

About the Disease: This disease is mainly seen in the pumpkin crops. The amount of damage that is caused due to this disease cannot be clearly measured. The yield loss can be very high at times. This mainly happens in the Mid West region. Symptoms: There are pale green spots on the top portion of the leaf. These will later get converted into brown color. All the spots are bounded by the veins of the leaf. In cucumber plants, it is clearly seen. Pathogen involved: Pseudoperonospora cubensis is the main causative agent. This is actually an oomycete and is not considered to be a true fungus. It is also called as the water mold. This disease can affect cucumber, melon varieties, pumpkin as well as squash. Time of Occurrence: This mainly occurs in a cool and wet climate. Conditions Favoring Disease: The main environmental factors that might favor the growth of the disease are the cool weather. When the weather is always wet as well as cool, you can expect the plants to get affected by this disease. Such a weather condition is considered to be a real threat for plants in the later part of the growing season. Disease Management: There are three main ways of controlling the disease. The chemical method involves the use of proper fungicides. These fungicides must exclusively kill only the fungus causing the disease...

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