Answer: Sounds as though you've been especially challenged in the garden this year! There's a certain balance within nature; if bad bugs visit, good bugs usually show up to do them in. Unless, of course, pesticides have been used repeatedly, which might kill off the good bugs as well as the bad!
Plants that are stressed seem to be more susceptible to insect and disease problems, so make sure your plants are receiving the correct exposure to sunlight, adequate nutrients and enough water to keep them thriving. Plants need plenty of elbow room, too. Good air circulation between plants helps ward off fungal diseases.
Some precautions you can take to assure a healthy garden are to keep weeds and debris out the the garden (so pests can't hide and breed), and water in the morning so leaves have a chance to dry out before nightfall. If you regularly pinch, prune, remove spent flowers, and pick off any really infested or diseased leaves and flowers, you'll stay ahead of the problems - nip them in the bud - so to speak.
Make sure that your plants are in the right places, getting adequate sunshine, fresh air, water and fertilizer and they should retain their health and vitality all year.
To keep problems from overwintering, cut down all dead foliage from your perennials (after your first frost) and remove it from the garden. Follow this up with a few inches of organic mulch to prevent soil erosion and to suppress weeds. Next spring begin a weekly vigil so you can correct problems as they develop.
Hope next year's garden is healthier!
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