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A key part of disease control within a garden is good hygiene. Infected material from plants in the garden and allotment should be removed promptly and disposed of carefully in order to limit the spread of disease.
Disposal of diseased material
These techniques are suitable for herbaceous and woody material, bulbs, seedlings and compost.
Fungal, bacterial and viral diseases (pathogens) can be spread by air currents, rain droplets, soil, seeds, insects and mammals, transporting plants and through physical injury such as pruning.
Most pathogens can survive on dead plant material and some can also survive on their own in the soil or on surfaces in greenhouses and on tools, making garden hygiene very important.
It will be necessary to use a range of disposal methods, depending on the type of material and the disease:
For help with identifying diseases read:
RHS Pests and Diseases by Pippa Greenwood and Andrew Halstead (Dorling Kindersley 2009, ISBN 9781405341776)
Pests, Diseases and Disorders by Stefan Buczacki and Keith Harris (Collins 2005, ISBN 9780007196821)
These books are also made available through the RHS Lindley Library.
Brown leaves on woody plantsLeaf damage on woody plantsPlant virusesPotato tuber rots
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