Soil-Borne Plant Diseases
Spraying the shoots as they break through the ground with Fermate (four sprays, a week apart, starting when shoots are 3 inches tall) will usually give good control.

Basal Rot: A serious disease of narcissus: it is encouraged by nematodes that open a path for a Fusarium fungus. Buying bulb from a reliable source is about the home gardener's only control.

Except for a condition known as curly top or shoe string top in tomatoes, few disease ills beset the plants in the home vegetable garden. If you are in cabbage yellows country, the resistant varieties will give you a crop in spite of the fungus. Commercial vegetable growers are plagued with a number of serious diseases, due to the concentration of vast numbers of plants of a single crop in a given area.

Clean seed is important. Buy seed in packets from a reliable source (avoid bulk seeds sold out of jars or bins). Treat with one of the commercial seed protectant chemicals before sowing.

If a good fall cleanup program is followed, clean seed sown in Gardener's Loam should give practically no trouble.

Several soil factors bear significantly on many of the most common plant diseases (caused by bacteria, fungi and viruses). The condition of the soil (pH, tilth, and so forth), and the kinds and amounts of fertilizers used, are among the major in-ground influences. Garden sanitation is an important preventive. A number of serious soil-borne plant diseases-their characteristics and some effective control measures-are discussed.