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Fighting disease and insects in your garden

If bugs are eating your crops or the leaves look dusty and sick, we've got solutions for you.

YARMOUTH, Maine — Right about now is when new gardeners say, "This isn't as easy as I thought it would be." With the extended period of rain we just had, your garden may have picked up some uninvited guests. Diseases and insects are abound right now, but there are organic ways to treat them. Organic is important here, because you are going to eat those veggies, and you don't want to ingest chemicals when you do.

Tom Estabrook of Estabrook's in Yarmouth says the number of people growing their own vegetables this year is mind boggling. The garden center was busy during planting season and is now getting lots of questions about pests. Here are his suggestions.

Sluggo Plus is a great product for cutworms. Just sprinkle around the base of the plant.

Captain Jack's is great for caterpillars and broad based insects on fruits and vegetables.

You can also use BT on caterpillars.

Neem oil smothers insects. It will kill aphids and white flies in all stages. It's a good broad based way to take care of a lot of different things.

This is also the time of year we see blossom end rot on tomatoes. "I like Rot Stop for that. A lot of people think it is a pesticide, but it's not," Estabrook says, "it's listed as a pesticide but it's a calcium lime spray."

For a fungicide, we are starting to see a lot of powdery mildew showing up. Revitalize is a bio-fungicide. It's also good for fruit blight and tomato blight. You are can use this as a preventative.

Copper fungicide works on powdery mildew as well.

Diatomaceous earth is great for ants. Sprinkle some water on the plants and then dust them with this powder. It will keep many insects away.

If you are trying to diagnose an issue, watch the video or take a sample of your troubled plant to your local garden center.

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