The weather in Atlantic Canada can be drastic, and as a provincial community we’ve grown accustomed to dealing with seasonal colds and fevers as they pass through with the next major snowstorm or abrupt change in season. Part of being a hearty people means we know that prevention is the ticket and is way more enjoyable than recovery. But what some don’t know is that your garden is just the same when it comes to disease; good sanitation practices can mean all the difference for prevention.
There’s good news: preventing disease in your garden is often a case of environment. A healthy gardening environment can make or break a healthy yield, and better news still is that a few key gardening practices performed on the regular can help to get you there! Let’s dig in.
A clean garden
Like we mentioned, maintaining the environment of your garden is as important as caring for your plants — in fact, the two are one and the same. A clean garden environment is all about maintenance, and that includes trimming dead stems, weeding, and clearing the ground of old, dead foliage. This is especially true if you’ve experienced issues with diseased plants in the past, as pesky bacteria have a way of migrating from defeated plants on to new ones.
This one may be tricky for the eager Atlantic Canadian gardener, but waiting a while and ensuring that your soil has warmed with the ground is the best way to ensure that your plants are strong enough to fend off invading diseases. Much like our own, a plant’s immune system is influenced by temperature and its surroundings. It’s why watering your plants in the morning (and letting them dry during the day) is always recommended over watering them in the evening and leaving damp, potentially cold water on them over night.
The boost your plants need, fertilizer is an incredible vessel for keeping your plants healthy and strong. But like anything, too much of a good thing can actually be harmful. Over-fertilizing your plants will actually weaken them (despite the yield), making them more susceptible to the diseases that you’ve been working to fend off. Use just enough fertilizer to keep your plants in top shape, and you’ll be in good shape yourself.
A breath of fresh air
Air flow is important for a multitude of reasons when it comes to a healthy garden and impressive growth. Plants that are clustered together create an optimal climate for diseases that rely on stagnant airflow and uninterrupted growth. Do your best to keep large plants separate and to position your garden(s) in a location that has a healthy supply of air.
Pests and insects that are prone to harassing your garden pose a serious threat to gardeners defending against disease. Though they may chew the plants themselves, they can also carry and transmit disease. Do your homework, and look into any insects you come across in your garden. If they’re harmful, act quickly!
These are just a few proactive tips when it comes to keeping your garden healthy and free from disease. For more information and other helpful ideas, come into our store and talk with one of our knowledgeable staff - we’re always happy to see you. Happy gardening!