Although plants are naturally occurring, most require more than just planting in the ground to thrive. In fact, many plants require a special balance of nutrients and minerals to grow properly. Ensuring plants get a balanced diet suited to their needs is essential, especially when growing plants intended for food or medicinal use. Several methods of quality control help keep plants in your garden safe and healthy.
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As with all endeavors, quality control begins during the planning stages. When planning to raise plants, whether as crops or in a small garden setting, plant vegetation with similar nutrition requirements in groups next to each other to ensure that the plants receive nutrition designed for them and not some different mixture that could raise or lower the acidity of the plant’s food supply. If vegetation with different soil needs must be planted close together for an overall landscape aesthetic, install invisible barriers to separate the soil types. These barriers are walls of plastic that reach up to 1 foot into the ground and sit just above ground level to ensure separate soil conditions stay exclusive.
Of course, nutrition is key to the development of all plants, but not all plants require the same nutrition. Check the light, water and fertilization requirements of each plant. A cast iron plant, for example, requires only a little sun and needs well-drained soil, watered infrequently, or else the roots of the plant will rot. Conversely, tomatoes require full sunlight conditions and a great deal of water and nitrogen-rich fertilizer to thrive. Check with your local garden center to ensure you are giving your plants precisely what they need.
When plants fight off temperatures that are too hot or too cold, they take valuable resources away from growing pretty blooms, fruit or foliage. Several plants and flowers benefit from the conserved energy gained from temperature control. If your plants are outdoors, cover them with a sheet in the event of an overnight freeze, or give them extra water during periods of extreme heat when the moisture evaporates more quickly.
Each plant has its insect predators, and these pests can waste entire crops if left untended. Still, broad spectrum insecticides that kill all the leaf litter creatures can prevent helpful bugs such as ladybugs and some species of worm and spider from aerating and guarding your crops. Instead look for insecticides that target specific pests that feed on your crops. Mint, for example, requires protection from aphids, spider mites and flea beetles while cilantro is more susceptible to fungus and mildew.