For vegetable growing, no garden can be entirely pest-free. But you can reduce the risk of insect, disease and weed problems if you take a few steps.
For instance, choose a location with 8 to 10 hours of sunlight per day. This aids the growth of most vegetable crops. It also speeds the evaporation of water from plant surfaces, reducing the risk of disease.
Gardeners are encouraged not to save their own seed but to purchase seeds from reputable seed dealers. Select varieties that have a built-in resistance to disease and certain insect pests.
Also, use disease-free materials. All planting material should be healthy and free of yellowing and brown or black spots, and should not be stunted or show poor development.
Rotate among major vegetable groups. Do not plant any crop from the same group of vegetables in the same portion of your garden more than once every three or four years. Rotate your crops. Certain diseases survive the winter on crop debris and may build up over time.
Do not under-fertilize or over-fertilize your plants. To determine the amounts and availability of nutrients in your garden, have the soil tested by an expert.
Soil pH for growing vegetables
Maintain proper soil pH. A soil that is slightly acidic to neutral, 6.0 to 6.9, is best for growing most vegetables. If your soil test indicates that the soil is more acidic than it should be, apply the recommended amount of limestone. If your soil is too alkaline, add sulphur.