Reviewing Cultural Disease Control Practices

Kelly Ivors, Extension Plant Pathologist, NCSU/Plant Pathology

The foundation of any integrated pest management program should always include cultural and sanitation practices.  Cultural management involves avoiding the onset of disease by creating an environment unfavorable to pathogens.  For example, grow plants under optimum conditions.  Non-living factors such as deficiencies or excess water, light, temperature, air pollution, pesticides and nutrients can predispose a plant to disease or cause direct plant injury.  General cultural practices include:


To lessen the impact of disease, an integrated approach to pest management must be followed; this includes the use of disease-resistant cultivars, cultural and sanitation practices, and chemical applications. Controlling most greenhouse diseases is much easier when done preventatively; good sanitation practices are extremely important in greenhouse production of plants.