Insect damage to plants is much more than cosmetic. Viruses and bacteria can often only enter a plant through some type of opening, and insect damage provides this. Some insects actually act as carriers of viruses and spread them from one plant to the next. Aphids are one of the most common carriers and thrips spread the necrotic impatience spot virus, which has become a serious problem for commercial producers in the past 10 years.
Aster yellow (pictured, right) is a disease transmitted by leafhoppers and has a wide variety of host plants. Insect attacks are another way to put a plant under stress, making it less likely to defend itself against disease. Sign up today and save up to 44%. Watering plants is one of the most important ways to care for your garden.
Plants lose moisture from their leaves through a process known as transpiration, so it's important to make sure there is enough in the soil for them to reabsorb through the roots. However, in hot climates, moisture also evaporates from the soil. Therefore, you will have to water the soil more often on hot summer days than in cold spring or autumn conditions, and in sunny areas more than in shaded ones. Feed the soil before feeding the plants.
Better soil means healthier and stronger plants. Dig up the soil with a shovel and break up the clods of earth. Spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic material, such as compost or well-rotted manure, over the planting area. Mix this amendment into the top 12 inches of soil.
Plant the plants only to the depth of the seedlings. When sowing seeds, follow the instructions on the back of the package. Adapt growing needs to the microclimates of the garden. Melons, tomatoes, and peppers need hot spots, while peas and carrots thrive in cool garden areas.
To make the nation's gardening smarter, Gardena has suggested 10 tips on watering, lawn maintenance and weeding to help you get greater rewards from your garden. Gardens of all types can make your garden look beautiful, but they can get dirty or overgrow if you don't maintain them properly. We've put together some of the best practices for maintaining your new garden now and for years to come.