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Some plants are more susceptible to disease than others. That said, you can prevent damage to some degree since pests and ailments befall weak plants above all. The goal of every garden hobbyist should, therefore, be to encourage vigorous, healthy growth in his or her plants, and the most essential prerequisites are proper placement and healthy soil.

Have courage!

Most plants are capable of coping with imperfect conditions, so you can plant and tend your beds without too much apprehension. After all, the occasional mistake will be a lesson in how to go about it better the next time. Learning never ends in the garden, not even for the professionals. Your first decision is which plants to buy for your garden bed, balcony, or patio, so it’s best to ask questions while you’re still at the nursery center. A nursery center with a large selection will have robust varieties that are particularly resistant to pathogens and pests. Roses bearing the “AARS” seal (for All-American Rose Selections trials) or „ADR-Seal”, for example, are particularly resistant to the threat of disease and will manage well almost without chemical protectants.

Once you’ve planted, it pays to keep an eye out for changes, of course. The right amount of water or fertilizer varies widely from garden to garden, so it’s just a matter of learning by doing. In general, applying fertilizer sparingly is better for plant health than using too much fertilizer, since over-fertilized plants are made vulnerable and become easy targets for pathogens and pests. To encourage vigor and bolster a plant’s natural defenses, you can use a plant fortifier or soil additives.

Your garden’s diversity plays a role, too. Growing an assortment of plants is better than a monoculture because it draws an array of beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, both excellent aphid predators. In order to encourage beneficial insects, consider putting up an insect hotel – it’s just one more way to foster good plant health in your garden.

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