Keeping Plants Healthy in Your Yard

Best practices for keeping plants healthy in your yard.

Adding landscape plants to your yard is a great way to brighten up your home, but keeping your plants healthy can sometimes be a challenge.

Here are some best practices to keep your plants healthy in your yard.

Remember to fertilize your plants.

One of the most common ways for plants to become susceptible to disease is through poor nutrition.

Rainy areas or areas with more irrigation in particular often lose soil nutrients before the plant has a chance to take them up. Using small and frequent doses of fertilizer rather than large infrequent applications can help reduce pollution from fertilizer runoff as well as ensure that your plants are getting access to the nutrients that they need.

Pick a fertilizer that fits your plants needs the best. For example, fruiting trees may require more potassium than landscape trees in order to produce fruits. On the other hand, grasses and lush greenery may need more nitrogen, as most of their growth is foliar. Always check the label for information about application rates and plant type. Using the right combination of nutrients as well as picking a medium, such as a liquid or granular, can go a long way to ensure healthy plant growth from the get-go.

Liquid fertilizers are a great way to give a rapidly available shot of nutrients to your plants while also providing moisture. These often come in a nutrient form that is easier for plants to take up, to solve immediate fertilizer needs. However, granular fertilizers offer the added benefit of a slower release, for less frequent applications.

Put on your inspector hat when you are in your yard.

Sometimes pest issues are noticed late in the game when it is more difficult to address. Always keep an eye out for unwanted guests.

Checking in with your plants as often as possible can help reduce instances of infestation that can damage your plants. A quick once-over every day takes little time and makes it easier to spot when something new has appeared on the plant. Many harmful insects are difficult to identify as bugs, so what may appear as a fluffy, waxy powder on your leaves may actually be a mealy bug or scale insect. Be sure to check under the leaves and in the joints of the branches, as many insects seek refuge from the elements.

Look for signs of a stressed plant such as a wilted look even though ample water is available, yellowing and excessive leaf drop on more than half of the plant out of season, or spots of any color forming on the leaves.

Find the right place for your plants.

Not all plants can tolerate the same elements. Finding the right place for the plants in your yard is just as important as finding the right neighborhood for your family.

It is always better to disturb the plant as little as possible once it has been planted. However, if you must dig it up for a move, check the roots to make sure that they are healthy. Roots should look clean when broken, and are usually white with some moisture inside. Brown, hollow roots are a sign of bacterial infection and may be the reason why your plant isn’t able to take up enough water.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Doing your research before putting plants in the ground can save both time and money in the long run. Most potted plants will come with instructions for shade and sun requirements so that you can plan accordingly when mapping out your yard.

Keeping your plants healthy ensures longer plant life and years of enjoyment. Plants can provide your home with a special touch whether you are adding value to your home or greening up your surroundings. Read more about how trees can add value to your yard here.