One of the worst things that one can experience in the garden is when beloved plants succumb to the disease.
Will this spread? How did this occur?
Are other plants going to die? How can I get rid of this?
These are some of the questions that people ask themselves and the real answer to all is that disease can only occur when all of these come together. You need a plant that can get sick, a pathogen that can attack it, and bad environmental conditions.
If one of these three things is not present, the disease will not be on the cards. Rather than waiting for the disease to crop up, there are things to do to eliminate and keep disease on the offense.
Let’s look at five different ways of keeping garden flower plants and the whole ecosystem healthy.
1. Examine the Plants Before Buying
In order to limit disease, one will have to avoid introducing it. New plants with diseases are not an ideal bonus. It is difficult, however, you need to learn what healthy plants look like so that when you buy them you can know if they are sick or not.
One of the best ways of doing this is to collect magazines, books, and catalogs that showcase healthy specimens. Ideally, you will want one with pictures that you can observe. As a rule of thumb, don’t take home any plants that contain rotted stands, dead spots, or insects — even plants that need a lot of water. These are usually tell-tale signs of unhealthy plants and once they’ve established themselves in your garden, they will be very difficult to get rid of.
In addition to the aforementioned points, look at the tops and bottoms of plants to inspect the route quality. A good practice is to place your hand on the surface of the soil, grasping the plant stem between fingers.
Invert your pot slightly and shake everything so that the plant becomes loose. You may have to give your pot a tap in order to loosen any roots. You will want to feel firm and usually white roots that have spaced out all over the root ball. Anything that is dark and broken down is not a good sign.
2. Fully Composted Yard Material is your Friend
Many materials that are deposited in your compost decompose at different rates. You may find that some of the material has degraded and some hasn’t, leaving only partial amounts to be sufficient for the garden.
A thorough compost needs high temperatures for extended time periods in order to kill any pathogens in your material. Any healthy weed plants that are infected and have not been in heat will most likely reintroduce a disease into your garden.
If you’re not 100% sure about your compost conditions, avoid using waste from your yard, and purchase fully composted yard material that has been treated.
3. Look out for Bugs
The damage that insects can do as much more than what appears on the surface bacteria and viruses only enter plants free some sort of opening and bugs create these. Moreover, insects can actually transport viruses and spread them between plants.
Attacks from insects are yet another way to put ordinary plants under massive stress, so do keep an eye out for bugs and use leaf blowers to send them on their way.
4. Cleaning Up in the Autumn Period
When it comes to autumn time, it is always best practice to clean all of the gardens. This applies even if one lives in a moderate climate. By doing this, one can effectively deter disease and control any diseases that have already been established in your garden.
Many diseases can, in fact, overwinter on debris and dead leaves, attacking any new plants as they emerge during the spring. Examples of diseases that can do this include daylily leaf streak, Iris leaf spot and black rose spot diseases — all of these can be virtually wiped out if dead leaves are cleared away every autumn. Make sure that you also remove any foliage and leafing stems before any new growth occurs in the spring.
5. Applying the Correct Kind of Fertilizer
When you’re fertilizing your plants, make sure that you take care because these chemicals can actually burn rates and reduce their capacity to absorb water from the soil. Route form can have a negative impact on plants which makes them less resistant to the cold, heat, and drought.
Plants of damage rates are also staff and nutrients and can further wane their ability to fight off disease. Overabundances of particular types of nutrients are ways of putting stress on plants and damaging root systems.
We would advise purchasing a soil testing kit that can provide accurate data on the levels of nutrients in your soil. You won’t want to leave anything as guesswork in your garden.
6. Companion Planting
The science of companion panting can be quite helpful in having a healthy garden. Companion gardening is nothing more than combining amiable plants. Much like humans, plants also flourish when they are with their friends. Therefore, plants can help each other thrive better and be healthy.
This tactic is beneficial in a variety of ways. If done correctly, companion planting can help maintain a healthy garden environment, deter pests, draw pollinators, fend against illnesses, and more. This centuries-old method not only helps to create a healthy garden environment but also boosts the production of your crops.
To fully benefit from companion planting, you need also keep other things in mind, such as adequate fertilizer, watering, mulching, etc. If you wish to learn about companion planting in detail, visit here.
7. The Right Plant for the Right Garden
There is an adage that when you are in the right place at the right time, you can make the most of any opportunity. Likewise, this is true of plants. You won’t need to worry if you pick the appropriate plant for your garden. Instead, the right plant would enhance the beauty of your garden and make it thrive.
What then can you do to pick the best plant? Well, the foremost thing to consider is your garden’s soil type. In all types of soil, not all plants thrive. While some need sandy, loamy soil, others thrive in claying soil. Don’t forget to check the soil’s pH level as well. In conclusion, conducting a thorough soil analysis can assure a better choice of the appropriate plants.
In addition to soil, you should consider things like
- The regional weather
- Zone of USDA hardiness
- availability of water
- The fauna in the area
- Likelihood of a pest infestation
- How much time can you devote to your plants?
8. Pull Out the Weeds
Weeds are unwanted plants that can crawl across your garden, quickly invading it. But what is so wrong with them? Well, the worst part of having weeds in your garden is that they choke out the healthy plants.
Also, weeds attract pests, which, in turn, can make your garden the most unhealthy place on your property. In short, weeds are plant killers!
So it’s important to weed your garden regularly. You might experiment with repetitive hand or shovel weeding throughout the initial stage. However, if the infestation is severe, use herbicides. You can pick between pre-and post-emergence herbicides depending on the type of weed. But occasionally, both kinds of herbicides may be needed to eliminate weeds from the garden.
No matter what approach you take, always keep in mind that “the earlier you start, the better outcome you will obtain.“
9. Water and Water
You must have often seen gardeners paying close attention to watering their plants. Do you know why they do so? Because the right amount of irrigation can help plants thrive better. In addition to the right amount, the right irrigation timing is also crucial.
Always remember that too less or too much watering will eventually kill plants, making your garden a land devoid of any healthy vegetation.
Furthermore, it will help if you also understand that not all plants require the same amount of watering. For example, some may need irrigation once a week, while others may need it every two days. So, while choosing the plant type, learn about the watering schedule.
In this context, also remember that certain pathogens need moist soil and water to grow and spread. Hence, ensure your plants are not in a water-logged region. More isn’t necessarily better in the case of plants.
10. Trim and Prune
All fresh tomatoes can be ruined by one bad one. This proverb also applies to plants. If you leave a rotting or broken piece attached to a plant, it will eventually take over the entire plant, perishing it.
So, you must prune or cut damaged limbs as soon as you notice them, even if in the winter season. Do not hold off until spring. Remember that over the winter, infections can quickly spread to the entire plant.
11. Avoid Crowding in Your Garden
Don’t overcrowd the area in your garden when planting plants. Our gardening knowledge has taught us that densely packed plants produce their own humidity, encouraging the growth of diseases like rust, powdery mildew, downy mildew, and others.
Therefore, it’s essential to maintain the proper airflow around plants to lower the humidity and keep the plants dry and healthy. Additionally, plants spaced too tightly tend to fight for water, nutrients, and sunshine, eventually becoming weak and vulnerable to pests and diseases.
12. Grow Disease Resistant Plants
You can maintain your garden healthily by growing plants resistant to illness. These plants can both fend off and recover from diseases. So it makes sense to choose a disease-resistant crop variety.
For example, consider choosing the VFN type of tomatoes, resistant to nematodes and fungi like Verticillium and Fusarium, if you intend to produce tomatoes in your yard. You can speak with any seasoned gardener or contact your neighborhood nursery if you want to learn more. There may be able to assist you in determining the best or most resilient plant varieties.
Here is a list of some popular crop varieties that are disease-resistant for your reference.
|Crop||Disease Resistant Varieties|
|Tomato||Big Beef (V, F, N, TMV)|
Celebrity (V, F, TMV)
|Eggplant||Diamond (F, V)|
Black Pride (V)
Multipik (yellow straight neck)
Honey Bear (acorn)
|Pepper||Ace/New Ace (bell)|
Sweet Chocolate (bell)
Italian Sweet (sweet)
Anaheim Chile (hot)
Hungarian Wax (hot)
- V: verticillium wilt
- F: fusarium wilt
- N: nematodes
- TMV: tobacco mosaic virus
A garden free of pests, weeds, and illnesses and where plants develop and thrive in a healthy state is considered healthy.
There are multiple ways to improve a garden. Below are some tips that can assist you in the process.
• Choose the right plant
• Water at proper intervals
• Use the right fertilizer at the right time
• Pull out the weeds
• Practice companion planting
• Choose healthy plants
• Check the soil quality, etc.
You will know that your garden is healthy when you see your plants are pest and disease-free and growing without any issue. Also, if your garden attracts pollinators, does not have water logging, is free from weeds, and looks aesthetically appealing, you can consider it healthy.
There are several ways to grow a good garden. Some steps you can undertake include watering at the right interval, harvesting crops at the right time, weeding regularly, fertilizing the plants, etc. To learn more, please refer to the post above.
You can enrich your garden’s soil by properly amending it with compost and fertilizer. Growing nitrogen-fixing plants can also enrich your garden soil.
Healthy Plants for a Healthy Garden
Now that you’ve read our guide, will know all about how to grow healthy plants and keep your garden looking healthy throughout your year.
Instead of starting plants indoors, you can keep them in the healthy garden outside, all year round. Remember, the disease is a killer and so do your best to rid your garden of it.
Do you know how healthy plants for the home should look? Tell us in our comments section below.