In organic gardening, a great expression to keep in mind is “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." There are a number of steps you can take to considerably reduce instances of disease and pests before they become a problem. Most of the following practices are inexpensive or even free but are invaluable for maintaining a healthy garden.
Water early in the day. Watering before noon allows plants to dry before dark, which can prevent fungus from growing.
Avoid standing water. Bird baths are fine, but large pools of stagnant water can attract insects.
Clean garden tools regularly. It’s good to get in the habit; it can prevent spreading bacteria. It may go without saying, but always disinfect tools that have been used on diseased plants. Also, avoid touching healthy plants after diseased plants, or handling plants when they are wet.
Weed early and often. Weeds in and even near your garden can attract bugs. Regular weeding started early in the summer can help keep weeds at bay and pests to a minimum.
Feed the soil. Feed the soil so it can feed the plant. Adding compost to the soil helps keep it and your plants healthy, and protects beneficial insects.
What preventative measures do you take to keep your garden healthy?
Sources Cited: “Preventing Lawn Diseases” from Gardening by the Yard on HGTV.com, “Basic Gardening Pest Control Tips” from Lawn-Pro, “Disease Control – Cultural Control” from Plant Path University of Wisconsin, “5 Things You Can Do Now to Prevent Next Year’s Pest Problems” from Debbie Hadley on About.com, “Beneficial Insects: Keep Your Garden Pests in Check” from ezgarden.com
Photo Credit: “Big Horrible Pest,” by Daniel Pink
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