How to grow healthy plants and protect them from pests
It is a joy to be in your yard when you can stand and look around and see all of your hard work literally come into play. What might not be so nice is the pests in your garden. You always have to have these under control or your garden will be overrun.
If you want your plants to stay healthy and have as few pests as possible under your flowers and vegetables, here are some tips that can help.
For healthy plants and fewer pests
1. Know your soil
The relationship that plants share with the soil is that we share with our food. If you eat junk you will not get well. If your plants are in bad soil, they are not healthy. The best way to know what type of soil you have? Do a soil test.
A soil test doesn’t just tell you what type of soil you have. It will also be able to tell you if there are microbes or fungi in your soil that are harmful to your plants. At Harper Nurseries, you can find advice on how to spot the signs of soil problems and what to do about them, and understanding what is going on at the soil level should enable you to take preventive and corrective actions.
2. Add fertilizer / compost
If your soil test shows that you are missing important plant nutrients, you can add them with fertilizer or compost. Let’s say your soil was lacking nitrogen. This is an important nutrient for good plant growth. You can add a nitrogen fertilizer to your soil to improve it.
However, many people try to garden without synthetic additives to their soil. You can use compost if this is the case for you. Compost is organic material that has broken down over time.
Plants grow best in soils with a high percentage of organic matter. When compost is added to the soil, it provides nutrients that may be missing. You can use a combination of fertilizer and compost if that suits you.
3. Choose healthy plants for your garden
Sometimes the problem isn’t your floor. It can be the plants that you buy. You may not want to believe that your home gardening business sold you unhealthy plants, but sometimes it does.
You need to check the leaves, stems, and roots for signs that the plant has fungus or is otherwise sick. Once you bring home an unhealthy plant, you will most likely transfer this fungus into your soil and possibly your other plants as well.
4. Get plants that are less susceptible to pests
Some plant species are more susceptible to pest infestation than others. You may be disappointed, but you may just have to choose more robust plants for your garden.
You can also purchase more robust versions of plants and vegetables that are usually susceptible to pests from your gardening store. These are usually marked with a special label. You may have to pay a little more, but think about the security you gain by repelling pests.
5. Watch how you water your plants
Water gives life to plants. If you water them incorrectly, you can add moisture to fungi and pests to grow. When watering your plants, you are moistening the roots, not the leaves or stems. The leaves and stems have no real way of absorbing the water and the excess moisture encourages fungal growth.
Even if you are just watering your roots, you need to be careful. If your soil is poorly drained, your roots can rot. Soaked soil can also encourage fungal growth that can spread to your soil.
6. Encourage insects to help control pests
Your garden is an ecosystem. Just as you have potentially harmful insects and microbes, there are also insects and organisms that are considered good for your garden.
These “good” insects will help you reduce the population of the bad insects, since the bad ones, in most cases, serve as food for the good ones. Insects you want to encourage include: bees, ladybugs, spiders, aphids, praying mantises, and beetles.
7. Do not overcrowd the plants
Don’t move all of your plants into a small lot. Root systems need space to spread and every plant needs sufficient nutrients from the soil. When you crowd plants, you are forcing them to compete. It’s also easier for diseases to spread among plants that are too close together.
Show some love to your garden by using these tips the next time you work. You will be rewarded with healthy plants and a pest-free garden.