Shrubs and perennials offer a variety of colors, textures and shapes to a garden, and are often considered as the backbone of landscapes. They define the visual and functional frame within the holistic landscape design.
Evergreen shrubs offer year-round aesthetic delights while perennials bring seasonal brightness. But, all of this is possible only if the plants are healthy. Healthy upbringing of plants require more than digging a hole, fertilizing and watering. Plants need a little more care and attention.
Here are five simple ways to grow more robust, healthy plants:
Be picky in your initial selection of plants. A healthy plant should have upright, thicker stems with greener foliage. Young, weak plants will never grow up to be sturdier or healthier no matter what you do. They will remain shorter, slimmer, more vulnerable to diseases.
Put one or two shovels of fresh commercial garden soil into the designated hole, before the installation of the plant. This will provide some basic soil nutrients and improve the porosity of the existent soil.
Do your best to avoid chemical fertilizers that will end up destroying soil microbes and nutrients over time. There are many organic alternatives such as fish bone meal, blood meal, feather meal, kelp meal, all-in-one blend, etc. among others.
When you spot an infection, reach for less toxic pesticides such as insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and minerals. Chemical pesticides provide instant, satisfactory results in the beginning, but are prone to killing non-target, beneficial insects and organisms. The use of chemicals also allows target pests to become more resistant to these pesticides, starting a vicious cycle of increased application, increased resistance- leading to ineffective costs of time and resources. Landscapes that rely on repeated chemical applications quickly lose vitality, to the point where only measures as drastic as landscape renovations could revert some of the damages.
Introduce microbial soil amendments, such as Mikrobs, as alternative supplements for a healthy garden. Rhizobacteria such as pseudomonas and bacillus- so called plant growth promoting bacteria- break down organic matter, recycle nutrients, create humus & soil structure, fix nitrogen, and induce systemic resistance against harmful soilborne pathogens. Symbiotic fungi like arbuscular mycorrhizae greatly boost uptake of nutrients in plant roots- most notably phosphorous, a particularly highly immobile element in soil. Mikrobs’ composition contains a mixture of these elements plus more, offering an organic, nonchemical solution to many of the problems listed above.
An 8 oz pouch of Mikrobs contains over 100 billion of bacillus spores, and 6,500 mycorrhizal propagules. The best quality microbial strains contained within a single pouch of Mikrobs will make the biggest difference.