Plant care and cultivation:
- Crop rotation! Do not plant the same plant in the same place for two consecutive years. This applies particularly to herbs and plants requiring lots of nutrients, such as anise and tobacco.
- Leave enough space between plants. Planting too close, means more competition for light and nutrients as well as dampness. As a result the plants will grow longer and thinner stems and start bending or break off easier. Dampness may cause rot and plants are more prone to diseases.
Common problems and plant diseases:
- Mildew is a fungus, which forms a white powdery film on the surface of leaves and other plant parts and may infest entire plants or shrubs. It looks like the plant has been coated in flour and can be removed with the fingers. It occurs typically during spring and early summer, especially during warm and dry periods or when moist plant parts are exposed to sun light and the temperatures vary greatly between night and day. Plant care: remove all infested parts, the earlier the better. Dispose sick plant parts together with the household waste or burn them. Do not place sick plant parts on the compost! Protect healthy leaves and treat sick parts by applying a thin layer of milk and repeat every 2 days. Or make an infusion with herbs such as Tansy, Garlic or Common horsetail respectively, which you spray the plants with. Neem oil is also a natural fungicide and has shown to reduce mildew. Useful creatures that feed on mildew and thus help reduce it are the larvae of the orange ladybird (Halyzia sedecimguttata) and the 22-spot ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata). Besides this there are also commercially available fungicides, containing copper or sulfur. Sulfuroxide and copper destroy the mildew. Note: chemical fungicides may also effect other organisms and should be avoided if the herbs are grown for consumption or cosmetic use.
- Downy mildew: