What is the Right Plant and Where Do I Put It?
by James Ellison
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Know if your plants are disease-susceptible. Your choice of plants used in your garden is as important as the soil that you put those plants in. Select plants that are disease resistant and they will be much more easy to maintain and will give you the look you are wanting. Food for thought is use plants that are native to your area.

The experience you get will tell you which are the troublesome plants. Obtain your plants from reliable sources and ask those people for their suggestions. They should be happy to help you because of return sales. The local cooperative extension service should provide much needed info for you. Some catalogs will list disease resistance plants.

Experience will eventually tell you which plant diseases are most troublesome in your region. Your local nursery and cooperative extension service are also good sources for information on local diseases and disease-resistant plants. Seed and nursery catalogs often list disease resistance in plant descriptions.

There are resistant varieties that exist for such diseases as apple scab, armillaria root rot, bean mosaic virus, blueberry mummyberry, cherry viruses, juniper tips and twig blights, lilac bacterial blight, powdery mildew, pea enation mosaic virus, potato scab, black spot, rust, tomato fusarium and root-knot nematode, fireblight, verticillium wilt, and other diseases.

What does the wrong exposure do to your plants? Take a long look at the conditions you have in your garden and choose your plants accordingly. Plants are usually clearly marked whether they prefer sun, partial shade or complete shade.

Shade plants grown in sun turn yellowish and grow poorly. They will get a sunburn which will develope dead spots on their leaves. Avoid south or west exposure.

The sun lovers are often stunted and spindly when grown in the shade. If they grow at all, they are usually weak looking and have few leaves. Reduced flowering on many plants may result from shade placement.

Use water conservation landscaping whenever you can. Most gardeners in drought climates have come to realize the importance of water conservation.But in areas where water is plentiful, however, waste in the garden is way too common. We take our water supply for granted by wasting more than we ever need and in many areas, more groundwater is pumped than nature can replace through precipitation and runoff.

Why not use drought-tolerant plants? These plants grow well with little water once they are established.

Mulch every plant you have.

Some grass species need less water than others, but lawns generally need a large amount of water to stay green and growing. If you replace the grass with drought-tolerant ground covers or flowers you'll save a large amount of water and even - money.

Probably your favorite plants will have high water requirements. Grouping and mulching these plants allows you to irrigate them together, thus reducing water waste.

What about fruit-pollination requirements! Many beginning gardeners are confused when their fruit trees fail to bear fruit. Could be a pollination problem.

Certain types of trees produce bigger and more abundant fruit with cross-pollination between different cultivars. The others, cross-pollinating is mandatory to get any fruit at all.

Learn a fruit's pollination requirements before planting. If your space is limited, pick a self-pollinating fruit, such as European-type plums or almost any of the peach cultivars.

Pollination will not happen without insects, butterflies or hummingbirds. When chemical pesticides are routinely used by a neighbor or yourself, the honeybees and other pollinating insects can be reduced so that fruit production suffers. Go organic.

This article is provided courtesy of Basic Info for Organic Gardening
©2005 James Ellison. All rights reserved.

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