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Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: <a href="">Cris</a>, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved
Seed packet for a disease-resistant variety of cucumber. Photo: Cris, Creative Commons, somew rights reserved

Disease resistant seeds? What's that?

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It's a detail you don't want to miss, because planting "disease resistant" varieties of flower, fruits and vegetables could save a lot of heartache during the gardening season.

But, Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says, "being disease resistant doesn't mean it's disease proof." That said, planting, say, squash that resists powdery mildew can be a real advantage. It isn't a cure, but it's a preventive step that can help produce a squash harvest rather than a squash failure.

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Reported by

Martha Foley
News and Public Affairs Director

Or, for example she says, look for a "v" on packets of tomato seeds. That means the variety resists verticillium wilt, a common tomato problem. Or look for an "f", for fusarium wilt in tomatoes.

Amy also advises looking for transplants that carry the same resistance. Growers typically post details on disease resistance because they're a good sales point. But you can get ahead of the game by making a list of varieties you DO want for your garden, and varieties that you want to avoid.

And then, remember: take the list with you when you're buying (this list of disease-resistant cultivars from Cornell Cooperative Extension might come in handy too!)

Amy and Martha will host a call-in show on NCPR this Friday at 1:00. Listen on our air, or online, at

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