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UMaine Publishes Pest Management Guide for Home Gardeners

Contact: Mark Hutton at (207) 933-2100

ORONO, ME—University of Maine Cooperative Extension has published a vegetable pest management guide for home gardeners, “Pest Management for the Home Vegetable Garden in Maine” (bulletin #2188). Based on research conducted at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, a Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station, the booklet covers pests and associated management practices specific to vegetable gardens in Maine and New England. Developed by Extension professors Mark Hutton and David Handley, the 20-page publication includes a crop grouping rotation chart and organizes descriptions of pests, diseases, and deficiencies by garden crop, with color photos. It is available for $6.90 from extension.umaine.edu (“publications”) or by calling (207) 581-3792.

Extended periods of wet weather such as Maine has been experiencing tend to set up favorable conditions for pest and disease infection, so home gardeners may need to be especially vigilant in monitoring their plants this year. “Pest Management for the Home Vegetable Garden in Maine” explains how to recognize plant deficiencies and diseases and suggests management practices based on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which relies on integrating a variety of control approaches with minimal pesticide use.

This year’s unusually heavy June rains have taken their toll on area garden beds. Hutton advises that gardeners may benefit from simply starting over in some beds.

“It’s not too late to think about July and August sowing for fall harvest,” he says. “Carrots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and kale can be planted in July, and spinach, lettuce and beets can be planted in August.”

Hutton and Handley work closely with regional growers to conduct variety trials and to test pest management, soil improvement, and crop rotation strategies.

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