Combat Disease in the Garden: (Protect Your Plants)
The wise gardener pays as much attention to the future plants in her garden as the present plants in her garden. Heavy rains, humid temperatures, and summer heat is a good combination for plant disease.
When we have an insect issue, we see the insects and take appropriate action quickly. However, a disease is not that obvious. Plant disease sneaks up on you. By the time you see disease, the problem is substantial. This is why we must prepare for the worse and hope for the best. To have a disease-free garden, you must stay ahead of the game.
We will be blessed with a great harvest if we prepare the soil to be receptive, shield the garden from enemies who would choke the life from our harvest, and nurture the new buds of life that come forth.
Below you will find some tips to prepare your garden and prevent the damage that will destroy and kill your seedlings.
- Plant your garden in an open location. It should have good drainage and ample sunlight. Sunlight will keep away the moisture thriving disease.
- Use quality seeds. Your plants will only be as good as the seeds they grew from. If you are confused about what to plant, read this.
- Rotate your crops to keep from stripping the land of nutrients.
Rotating your crops minimizes the problem of carrying pests or disease from one season to the next. Your goal should be to only plant a vegetable in a particular spot once every 3-years. If you have a small patch and use potting mix, plant rotation is not necessary.
- Remove the debris from the last crop. Remove any mulch that remains. Till the soil to turn it and clean it well, then add compost or manure to replace nutrients and balance the soil.
Mulch acts as a natural weed control agent. It helps maintain the moisture in the soil and protects the soil and the roots of the plants from the elements. If the spring mulch has not completely decomposed, placing new mulch on top of the old will form a barrier which will prevent the plants from getting the proper nutrition from the soil and could trap diseases which will kill your plants.
- Give your plants ample room to grow and receive a nice air circulation. There must be enough room for the roots to grow unobstructed or the plant could be stunted and the yield much less.
- Do not overwater the plants and limit the overhead watering as much as possible (Drip irrigation is best.) Too much water will stunt the growth of the roots. This could cause your plants to be unhealthy and small. Yellow leaves are a good indication that the plants are getting too much water.
If you want to give your flower beds a rest, there are a lot of healthy and tasty veggies that thrive in cooler weather. Beets, green beans, collard greens, carrots, lettuce, pole beans, turnips, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are fall vegetables. This is a great way to get antioxidants, fiber, protein, minerals, and vitamins added to your diet.
Add some flavor to your foods with fresh and home-grown herbs. We love to cook with herbs, but until you have cooked with fresh, you don’t know what you are missing. Below are some herbs that grow well in the fall:
Most of these plants will thrive well until the first frost. Herbs can be grown in a flower box or grown in coffee cans suspended from a fence. This is a pretty hanging garden, and if the nights are dropping close to frost point, you can simply take them inside for protection.
The Bible uses planting, harvesting, and tending our gardens often as a way to help us understand how we are to work. Just as a farmer must tend his crops by the sweat of his brow, we must work diligently on our own patch of Earth. It takes good ground, constantly being on guard from the quiet enemy, and prayers of gratitude to enjoy our harvest. Our gardens and our blessing overflow.