Chop-and-drop is a great way to deal with your dead vegetables. I have written about this before but I wanted to take a moment to answer some common questions that I get on this topic. Often these questions focus on people who are worried about garden pests. Let’s dive into these questions!
First though, make sure to check out these 2 blog posts all about chop-and-drop.
Ready to go? Okay now what about pests?
Pests and Chop-and-Drop
When you look at the results of chop-and-drop it makes sense that pests and disease could be an issue. Let’s look at the potential concerns. But I do want to note that often the lifeforms that help decompose dead plants do not affect living plants.
Chop-and-drop as mulch: As a mulch chop-and-drop material creates a relatively moist environment that critters like slugs, snails and other pests like. But I have found in my own garden that this environment also supports a lot of predators of these same pests. This has resulted in a balance between the pests and predators which at least in my garden results in less not more pest issues.
Chop-and-dropping diseased plants: So you are cutting your dead vegetables and you find a plant suffering from some sort of disease. In some cases I don’t worry about this—some diseases like powdery mildew are so present in the environment that it will be in the environment regardless of if I chop-and-drop or not. But in other cases you may want to remove the diseased material and hot compost it or just remove the plant material in some extreme situations. I would look up any diseases you come across and see if removing infected plant material is recommended or not before chop-and-dropping the infected plants.
So what do you think? Have you had disease issues on your vegetables? How have you dealt with it? Please leave a comment with your thoughts!
Also, if you're new to the idea of chop-and-drop don't forget to check out these blog posts:
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