The Best Ways to Keep Your Garden Healthy
One of the most discussed gardening topics is what makes a plant infected by diseases. Or in other words, how a plant can get infected by disease? The question that pops up close to the heel of this question is that how to keep these diseases at bay, and how to keep the plants healthy.
The most important thing that needs to be understood is that the disease in plants can be kept at bay with a methodology that is known as disease prevention, which is also called disease triangle. Diseases can attack a plant as and when the combination of three things fall in place – the plant getting sick, the plant getting under an attack of a pathogen, and environmental conditions that are supportive to disease set in. If you can ward off any one of these factors, the probability of the infection is minimized by a considerable extent. Or in other words, you will be able to knock off one of these three factors that form the disease triangle. Let us discuss some of the ways in which this can be done.
You need to examine properly the plants that you are purchasing
Well, this is the easiest way to ward off diseases from your garden. You just cannot indulge in getting a diseased plant for your garden. However, here what I would like to mention is that, one of the most difficult things in the world of gardening is getting to know how a healthy and disease-free plant should look like. Here I must say that it is a huge subject, and it entirely depends upon the type of the plant in question.
It might be a good idea to collect books written about gardening, magazines, booklets and catalogs that would contain a great deal of information as well as photographs and specimens of healthy plants. Refrain from purchasing plants with dead spots all over its body, hints of rotten stems, or with traces of insects on the leaves or branch joints. These are the issues that can very well give rise to big problems subsequently and the symptoms can very well spread to the healthy plants, and can give rise to situations, which will become very hard to get rid of.
Besides, you need to check the plant tops, and regularly check the condition of the roots and the quality thereof.
Use Yard Waste that are fully decomposed
While using the yard waste the point that you need to keep in mind is that not every type of materials of the compost pile will decompose at the same speed. While you will find some materials that have degraded enough to be put in the garden, you may also find some that have not degraded. When you use yard wastes that have decomposed thoroughly, it generates a fairly high temperature and that also for a considerable period of time. This in turn will help kill the pathogens. Debris of the infected plants that have not undergone this process is bound to reintroduce potential diseases. In case you are unsure about the extent of decomposition of the compost pile, it is better to avoid it, or at least refrain from using it at the roots of the plants that are too tender and are over sensitive.
Keep the bugs off
I have seen people pooh-poohing the issue of plant damage inflicted by insects. They consider this damage to be more or less cosmetic. However, the reality is totally different. Virus and bacteria get into a plant through an opening, and that opening is the result of a bug attack. Hence, the two help each other to destroy a plant in a beautiful way. And then again, there are certain insects that actually act as a transporter of viruses. They keep on spreading them from one plant to another in virtually no time. One of the most dreaded carriers is Aphids. And the Thrips are responsible for spreading impatiens necrotic spot virus. This particular virus is one of the causes of headaches for the commercial produces for almost a decade or so.
Clean the fall up thoroughly
After the fall, you have a task cut out. It is imperative that you get rid of the fall thoroughly. You need to clean up the garden impeccably, and this is applicable even if you stay in a place that has a moderate climate. Cleaning the fall thoroughly will not only save your garden from accumulation of diseases, but will also help you control diseases that may have already been in your garden.
You need to keep in mind that there are certain diseases that can survive long winter months in dead leaves or debris and can spring to active life at the end of the winter, attacking the new leaves that grow in spring. Some of the most common diseases that affect plants are Iris leaf spot, rose black spot, daylily leaf streak and the likes. These are some of the most common diseases that can be remarkably seen off if the fall leaves are cleared thoroughly. However, in case you have planned to leave foliage and stems for creating winter interest, do not forget to get rid of them before the onset of spring when the new plant growth commences.
So all said and done, these are some of the most important steps that you need to take, in case you are determined to keep your garden healthy and disease free years in and years out.