Plant diseases and pests can take over a beautiful, well-maintained garden in a heartbeat. Don't let this happen to you -- learn as much as you can about how to prevent harmful pests and diseases from attacking your plants and what to do if you suspect a problem.
By preventing disease and pests,
annuals like this larkspur will
thrive throughout the summer.
If you feel uncertain about what is causing damage to your plants, take a specimen to your local garden shop or your county Cooperative Extension office. You can also use the Insects and Animals and Diseases charts to help you identify the most common garden pests and diseases for annuals or perennials.
Once you know what your problem is, you'll need to decide how to control it. When an infestation is slight, it's often possible to simply remove the sick plants or individual insects. For a heavy infestation, you'll probably need to turn to chemical insecticides or fungicides.
Follow manufacturer's instructions precisely and read and follow any cautions on the package label. Apply these chemicals as directed and only when they're absolutely necessary.
Annual flowers do require daily upkeep and pest control. However, to ensure that your garden continues to look as vivid and colorful as it did during the first few weeks, we've assembled a couple of good hints on month-by-month maintenance on the next page.
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