1. First, remember that you are lighting a fire,-although it's small, use precautions. Have a jug of water or a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure that there is no dry material nearby that could catch a flame and be sure to completely extinguish any remaining sparks.
  2. Begin by placing a thin layer of the paper at the base of the plant. "You make a little circle of fire around the stem," Mary Lou says. She explains that the lire makes an instant flash of heat in a full circle around the base of the plant, Mary Lou emphasizes that you want to make sure that the area of heat extends to the outermost leaf, however far away that farthest leaf is. That way, you can be sure that you're hitting all the rust spores.
  3. Light the fire. Expect a quick flame for 5 to 10 seconds. It should extinguish on its

The heat from a smalt flash fire will help kill the rust spores that often plague hollyhocks. Use a thin layer of paper to encircle the plant stem without touching it, fill a bucket of water and place nearby, then light the paper and fire away.

own,- if not, use the water to douse it. You may lose some lower leaves in the process, Mary Lou cautions, But she adds, "When the plant recovers from this little bitty heat, it comes back so gorgeous."

Note: If more than one plant shows symptoms of rust, repeat the process individually, for each plant. In 2 weeks, check to be sure that the plant is clean. If there are any diseased leaves, remove them. If the fungus reappears, treat that plant again. Mary I.ou says she's never had any problems past that point.

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Peter disease with [disinfectant E^ips for Tools

Clean your tools! You've heard that advice before, but now its time to take it seriously. Using bleach or another disinfectant for tools is a must, says Dr. Cheryl Smith, a specialist in plant health with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. "If you're going to do pruning or any type of cutting, cut diseased areas of a plant last, and make sure that cutting tools, even scissors, get thoroughly cleaned prior to next use," Cheryl says. Otherwise, an isolated problem could become a full-scale plague.

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