When a plant gets infected, this is one of the most terrible things that can happen in your garden. You’ll begin to ask yourself a series of questions. How did it occur? Is it going to spread? Will other plants get infected? How will I control it? The disease triangle is the most crucial thing to understand about the prevention of diseases. In this post, you’ll learn how to keep your garden healthy.
Plants only get infected upon the coincidence of three things: you grew a plant that has a tendency to get ill (a host); some pathogens (such as viruses, bacteria, or fungi) that can harm the plant; and some climatic conditions (such as drought or humidity) that boost the disease.
With the absence of these three things, no disease will ever happen; so to knock out one side of the triangle or more, you need preventive measures. Prior to experiencing problems in your garden, try your best measures to prevent plants from getting sick. Here are 7 ways to remove one or more side of the disease triangle and keep your garden healthy.
1. Perform a Thorough Examination on Plants Prior to Purchasing
The best way to eliminate diseases in your garden is to ensure that you don’t attract them in the first place. Seeing a fresh plant get infected isn’t everybody’s expectation. One of the most difficult things to master is how a healthy plant should look, making it hard to identify which one is infected, and which is not.
It’s a brilliant idea to gather a few catalogs, magazines, and books which analyze how a healthy specimen should look. Avoid taking home plants with insects, rotted stems, or dead spots. Such plants can easily infect your healthy plants and can, most times, be difficult to control once penetrated.
Aside from examining the plant tops, ensure you always check the quality of the root. Though customers don’t usually do this in the center of a garden, it ought to be a constant sight. Place your fingers on the surface of the soil and position the stem of the plant between your fingers.
Tap the pot’s edge against a hard surface in order to loosen those roots. Roots must be white, firm, and spaced around the root ball. Mushy or dark roots are a bad sign. In no time, a rotted, bad root destroys a plant, even when the tops look healthy.
2. Explore Composted Yard Waste
Materials in a compost pile don’t get decomposed at a constant rate. Some materials may have lost too much value to be placed in the garden, whereas others may still remain intact. Ideal composting leads to high temperatures for a prolonged period of time, which literally results in the death of the pathogens in the material.
Sick plant debris that hasn’t gone through this stage will transfer some diseases into a garden. If you doubt the condition of your compost pile, don’t hesitate to stop exploring yard waste and never add potential sick debris to your pile.
3. Keep a Close Watch on Your Bugs
Bacteria and viruses can only infect a plant via some kind of opening, and bug infection provides this. There are insects that transport viruses, getting plants infected. One of the widely-known carriers is Aphids, and impatiens necrotic spot viruses are spread by thrips, which were a critical challenge for commercial producers for the past decade.
The virus that carries the disease Aster Yellows is called leafhoppers and this disease has a myriad of host plants. One of the ways to put plants in a distress is through insect attacks.
4. Sanitize in the fall
It’s normal practice to sanitize your garden within the fall, no matter how moderate the climate you live in is. This will not only prevent diseases around your garden but also serve as a deterrent to infections.
Overwintering can happen on debris and dead leaves, which could infect the fresh leaves as they grow up in spring. Examples of diseases that can be drastically controlled if the dead plants are removed in the fall are a black spot on roses, daylily leaf streak, and Iris leaf spot.
5. Use the Fertilizer Correctly
To avoid too much of your fertilizer burning roots and failing to absorb water when using the fertilizer for plants, you need to take caution. With this, the plants will become more susceptible to get stressed from heat, cold, and drought.
When plants are starving for essential nutrients, they tend to reduce in size and can be negatively influenced by leaf spots, whereas a more rugged plant can kill diseases. Too much of a specific nutrient is a cool way to put a plant in a distress.
If you can get a soil test via your local extension agency, you’ll be provided with accurate data on the levels of nutrients in your soil. Otherwise, you’ll have some guesswork on your own part trying to feed your plants, and this may lead to having not enough water or having an excess of one nutrient.
6. Plant Disease-resistant Varieties
Some disease-resistant plants might get infected with a specific disease but will dispute the disease rather than responding to it. For example, some plant (tomato) varieties are resistant to the fungi VFN (Verticillium, Fusarium, and Nematodes).
If you’re searching for the VFN on flowers, you will likely get shocked because disease resistance is uncommonly figured-out on plant tags. It does not imply that several varieties of flowers are disease-resistant. Most rose firms provide plants that are resistant to diseases such as back spot, powdery mildew, etc.
Nursery workers and co-gardeners can help you figure out the best resistant varieties of numerous plants. Reference catalogs and publications may also shortlist varieties and plants that are resistant to specific diseases.
7. Water Adequately
Watering a garden is a great practice. You determine when it comes to making a difference between the number of diseases and plants that need water. Numerous pathogens in the air and soil require lots of water to grow, move, and produce again.
To provide diseases with unfavorable weather, select watering models that reduce the moisture on the foliage of a plant. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses help to achieve this. If you’re using your hand to water, put the leaves aside as you water those roots.
When leaves are wet, the most usual leaf challenges are exacerbated. Thus, the least preferred alternative is overhead sprinkling. If you select this model, start watering when you see the leaves run dry so quickly but there is enough time for roots to absorb moisture prior to evaporating.
I hope you enjoyed reading these articles and if you have any questions or something to share about these articles, please leave your comments below and I’ll happy to get back to you.
Thank you so much and happy gardening.