Gardening Practices To Help You Prevent Plant Diseases
Providing a healthy environment for your plants is essential when it comes to preventing plant health issues. Taking the time to implement the practices below is important to help prevent pests and disease. Prevention is much easier and more efficient than letting plant diseases affect your garden and then having to spend a lot of time rectifying the issues. It will also save you time and money in the long run.
Thoroughly Inspect New Plants
We all know how easy it is to pick up beautiful new plants when we are out and about, but how many of us are taking the time to inspect these plants closely before we purchase them? If you see any signs of potential fungal diseases or insects or lots of yellowing or wilting foliage don’t bring it home with you. Accidently bringing a plant into your garden that already has a disease is one of the easiest ways to then pass diseases on to all your other previously healthy plants.
Fertilise your plants only enough to keep them constantly healthy but be sure to not use too much! Over-fertilising can bring about more problems if you aren’t careful as your plant has an abundance of weak, new growth that is very attractive to pests and diseases.
Using the right amount of fertiliser or adding the right amount of compost regularly can help keep your plants healthy, they are then much better at fending off diseases.
Keep High Sanitation Standards
Stems and foliage left in your garden from diseased plants can then result in the next years plants also having to deal with those same diseases and/ or pests. So make sure you are picking up any plant debris and trimming off any dying or unhealthy branches and consistently clearing out any weeds.
Although tempting don’t put any of the affected plants into your composter unless you have a ‘hot’ compost pile as these are much better at killing off diseases. If your composter doesn’t kill off the disease it can then impact any plants you then use this compost on.
Plant In Warm Soil
When plants are put into soil that is not yet warm enough plants become stressed, which in turn makes them much less likely to be able to fight off diseases and pests. The soil will not be warm enough until springtime, a useful tool to check when the soil is ready is a soil thermometer, they are cheap and a great way to check if your soil is ready for planting.
Crop rotation is essential for those of us who plant vegetables year on year in the same patch of our gardens. Learning all the different vegetable families and how to rotate them in your garden will save you a lot of hassle all through the growing season. Without crop rotation, you are more than likely to have issues with fungal diseases and pests in your garden. It is the number one best way to prevent diseases in your vegetable garden.
Look put for an upcoming blog post telling you everything you need to know about crop rotation!
We all know that mulching is excellent for maintaining soil moisture and of course the best thing, keeping weeds at bay! But did you know that it is also very helpful in keeping our gardens disease-free? Mulch can stop any soil-borne fungal diseases from splashing on to your plants’ foliage and making the problem much worse.
Fungal diseases thrive in cold, damp environments making our gardens the perfect environment if we were to water in the evening. So be sure to water your garden in the morning to prevent this from happening.
Consistent Monitoring and Removal
Monitor your garden constantly, always looking out for any pests that may have appeared on your plants so you can fix the problem before it gets uncontrollable. If you do find pests on your plants, remove the affected foliage and stems as soon as you can and eliminate the pests to stop the spread.
If your plants have poor air circulation, either because they have been planted too close together or too close to another object, this can lead to a stagnant environment. This is the perfect environment for fungal diseases. Prevent this from becoming an issue by leaving plenty of space between plants and other objects. This may involve some pruning of particularly large plants or transplanting any plants you notice with a disease issue to another space with better air circulation.
I hope all these tips will help you to keep your garden free of pests and diseases! The main points to take away is to take the time to make sure you firstly start with a healthy environment, and then to constantly monitor and inspect your garden so you can spot any changes straight away, all of this will help your plants to resist pests and diseases.