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American Horticultural Society Pests and Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Treating Plant Problems Hardcover – 1609
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American Horticultural Society Pests and Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying and Treating Plant Problems
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The cures for my multiple problems seem to be solved by some Horticultural Oil that is recommended in the book. (Luckily I ordered some Monterey Horticultural Oil in a panic before I got the book - based on good old Amazon reviews again :) So yes, they lean towards organic remedies in the book, but really, spraying some of this Horticultural Oil on seems like not such a bad deal. In fact, it seems like more of the miracle spray for all of my problems than other avenues. I am definitely one of those that wants the miracle in the bottle.
You should definitely buy the book before you buy another plant. Nurseries are generally great about listing any pest problems, but when you look up a specific plant or tree in this book, and then you look at the list of problems, it becomes very obvious what you are really getting yourself into with a new plant or tree.
It might not be a bad idea to pick up some of the Horticultural Oil they recommend and do every living thing in your yard. Get the problems before they get the plants.
Recommended treatment is most often organic -- removing pests by hand, using insecticidal soap, introducing beneficial insects, or removing all affected plants. My favorite suggestion for wasp control is to vacuum them from their nests, seal the vacuum bag, and stick it in the freezer to kill the wasps. I'm sure my family would just love to have dying wasps next to the ice cream. Fortunately, most suggestions are not as impractical; they maintain a regard for both plant and human health. When true pesticides are the only recourse, the books refers to them as "labeled insecticides" without specifying which kind would be effective. (For pesticide users, try an Ortho book instead.)
I found that this book makes a good supplement to my other gardening books. Very few books are dedicated to pests and diseases, making this a valuable resource for the gardener. I recommend pairing this book with Princeton University Press's Garden Insects of North America.