Caring for a garden is a fun and relaxing activity, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you start seeing your plants get sick. When a plant gets a disease, there are a million questions going through your mind.
How did this happen? Did it spread? Will it spread? How can I get rid of it fast?
Well, disease can only happen when all three of the following happen at the same time: you have a host that can get the disease, a pathogen that attacks the plant, and environmental conditions that promote the disease. If any of these three elements is missing, disease has a much lower chance to happen. This is why prevention is key.
Here is how to ensure your garden stays healthy, happy, and free of disease.
Carefully examine each plant before you buy it
Oftentimes, diseases are unknowingly brought into the garden when you get a new plant. To avoid this, make sure you carefully examine each plant you plan on bringing into your garden. We know, learning who a healthy plant should look like takes a lot of time, but look online for tips, watch videos, and save a few photos to have for reference.
Avoid plants with dead spots or rotted stems, as these issues can easily spread to your other plants. Inspect root quality as well, and ensure they are firm and white.
Keep an eye out for insects
We all know insects can damage plants by nibbling on their leaves, but they can actually do a lot worse. Bacteria and viruses need an opening so that they can enter the plant, and bug damage does exactly that. It creates a doorway for bacteria and viruses, which can severely harm your plant.
Some insects can also carry disease from one plant to another, so make sure you use the right pesticide to avoid such situations.
Use the right fertilizer
The type of fertilizer you use, as well as how you use it, can really affect plants. If you use too much fertilizer, roots can easily burn, which reduces their ability to absorb water. This can stress out plants and make them more prone to disease.
Using an organic liquid fertilizer will improve the health of your plants, as well as the soil condition. For example, humic acid helps the soil retain more water, increases the amount of organic matter in the soils and locks up harmful toxins.
Water your garden properly
Watering your plants the right way ensures bacteria and viruses don’t get spread to the rest of your garden. Just as plants, pathogens also need water to grow and reproduce, so you need to find a way to avoid providing them with the environment they need.
Limit moisture on the foliage of the pants by using soaker hoses or drip irrigation. If you water by hand, hold the leaves to the side, ensuring you are only watering the roots. Most frequent leaf issues happen when they are wet, so keep away from overhead sprinkling.