Taking up gardening can be a wonderful endeavor that gets you outside and using your hands. However, it’s more than just digging and planting. When starting a garden, it’s important to be aware of any ways your garden may be harmed.
An easy way to keep pest populations under control is to attract their natural predators. Some spiders and insects, including ladybugs, wasps, and lacewings, prey on the insects damaging your plants. To attract them consider adding plants such as dill, fennel, or coriander.
There are several other natural deterrents that can be used to keep pests away. For example, slugs and snails can be kept at bay by adding crushed eggshells below your plants. Many insects are also deterred by smells. The scents of mint, lavender, citronella, basil, lemon grass, and many others drive insects away. As an added bonus, some of these smells also attract pests’ natural predators.
Most diseases in your garden will be fairly easy to spot. They present themselves in the form of discolored leaves, spotting, wilting, and mildew. Avoiding diseases in plants begins with prevention. Have your soil tested before planting. Use disease resistant varieties. As your garden grows, regularly trim and remove weeds to give plants plenty of room for air circulation. Monitor weather conditions as many diseases thrive with excess moisture.
If you grow corn in your garden for the fall, there are several diseases you should watch out for. Most diseases affecting corn impact the leaves of corn. These include gray leaf spot, common rust, and corn leaf blight. These types of diseases can be prevented by proper seed selection and treatment as well as regular fungicide application during the growing season.
One of the most important parts of gardening is properly maintaining your plants. Your garden can begin to fail if plants get too much sun, too much water, or even too much fertilizer. It’s important to be well educated about your plants and their needs. Ensure that your plants are being placed in nutrient rich soil. Inspect your plants regularly for discoloration or disease. Remove any dead leaves or buds from your plants. Be sure to weed often to help repel pests.
Gardening takes a constant and consistent effort, but as long as you are vigilant your garden can thrive. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases and take the time to address them. Most importantly, do plenty of research on how to best care for the plants in your garden.
Read this next for more great tips: How to Deal with Weeds in Your Organic Garden