Types of Garden Enemies
Fig. 28

Another treatment for damping-off is treating the soil after planting, and after emergence, with 8-quinolinol benzoate or sulfate (the benzoate form is available under the trade name of Anti-Damp).

Dodders are seed plants parasitic on stems and other parts of cultivated and wild plants. There are several species, all in the genus Cuscuta, and all acting about the same. Dodder germinates from seed just like any other vine, but as soon as its waving tendril latches on to a plant it takes a stranglehold, sends suckers into the stem in search of food, and loses its own connection with the ground. It is a true parasite, as is mistletoe, and so has no green leaves to manufacture its own food. It stretches quantities of bright orange threads from one host to the next and produces beautiful clusters of tiny white flowers. Chrysanthemums are much favored by dodder, but I have found it on English ivy, forsythia,

trumpet vine, phlox, petunias, and many other ornamentals as well as a few vegetables. From its tangle of threads it is called gold thread, love vine, devil's hair, and hell-bind. The last two are most appropriate.

It is impossible to get rid of dodder by pulling off the vines. Even a half-inch left fastened on a stem will renew growth. The only thing to do is to cut off all affected plant parts as soon as possible. Woe be unto you if you wait until after the flower clusters have set seed. Then you will fight dodder to the end of your gardening days.

Downy mildews are mold fungi fostered by wet weather and are quite different from the white powdery mildews familiar to all gardeners. The downy mildew fungus lives inside foliage and pushes its spore-bearing apparatus out through stomata to form downy white, gray, or lavender patches on the underside of leaves. Most downy mildews are important to the farmer rather than to the backyard gardener, but anyone who has grown lima beans in a wet summer along the Eastern Seaboard has probably seen the conspicuous white mold on pods. A downy mildew of cucumbers and other cucurbits is sometimes a problem in late summer. Grape downy mildew is rather general but seldom serious. Rose downy mildew is present in some greenhouses but almost never occurs on outdoor roses.

Control. Spraying with zineb, either Dithane Z-78 or Parzate, is effective against most downy mildews.

Earwigs belong to the insect order Dermaptera. They are beetle-like but have a pair of forceps at the end of the abdomen and a gradual metamorphosis.

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