Did your New Year’s resolutions include your organic garden and houseplants?

Here are some gardening tips from the plant doctors at The American Phytopathological Society, a nonprofit, professional scientific organization that advances the public’s understanding of plant pathology and health.

  • Mulch perennials after the ground freezes to help them overwinter comfortably, even though temperatures may fluctuate.
  • When studying plant catalogs, look for pest- and disease-resistant plants, such as mildew-resistant phlox, fusarium-resistant tomatoes and disease-resistant crabapples. This will make your gardening job easier and keep your plants healthier.
  • Send a soil sample to a laboratory to learn about your lime and fertilizer needs, rather than guessing.
  • Set plants in the ground only at the proper depth. Deep planting harms roots and kills plants.
  • Use only the well-drained areas of your garden for plants—unless you purchase some swamp-loving species!
  • Inspect plants carefully before purchasing to find evidence of invaders like spider mites, scale insects or mealybugs, or root swellings that may reveal crown gall disease on plants like flowering cherries or roses.
  • Spread a circle of mulch around young trees to keep lawn mowers from damaging the bark, which can lead to canker diseases in the future.
  • Use only a few inches of mulch (depth), and keep it a few inches away from trunks and stems of plants to discourage crown rot.

Tune in tomorrow for more plant-savvy tips!