Ways to Keep Your Garden Healthy
Apply the right fertilizer
You need to be careful when fertilizing plants, as too much fertilizer can burn the roots, reducing their ability to absorb water. This, in turn, makes plants more susceptible to the stresses of drought, cold, and heat. Nutrient plants are smaller and can be severely affected by leaf spots, while a stronger plant can fight disease. An overabundance of a particular nutrient is another way to stress a plant.
Getting a soil test through your local extension agency will give you accurate information on the nutrient levels in your soil. Without it, any feeding of your plants is likely to be guesswork on your part and could involve either too much of one nutrient or not enough of another.
Varieties resistant to plant diseases
Disease-resistant plants are those that may get sick with a particular problem but will fight the disease rather than succumb to it. For example, some tomatoes are coded as “NFV resistant,” which means that the tomato variety is resistant to fungi and nematodes Verticillium and Fusarium.
If you start looking for these codes on flowers, you will likely be disappointed as disease resistance is rarely identified on plant labels. This does not mean that many flower varieties are not resistant to disease. Many rose companies offer plants that are resistant to diseases such as powdery mildew and black spots.
Nurserymen and other gardeners can help you identify the best or toughest varieties of many plants. Reference books and catalogs can also list plants and varieties resistant to particular diseases.