Some other thoughts that might be helpful when planning your garden includes considering how much sunlight a plant will receive and testing your soil type – which is much simpler to find out than you might think. No science degree nor pipettes required! These practices will help determine so much about the type of plants your garden will happily cater for and will give you more information on how to manage your garden; how much and what type of nutrients or aggregates to put into the soil, how often you will need to water depending on the amount of sunlight your plant will receive. All this work builds up our armour to ensure your plants are as healthy as possible to prevent disease developing.
Another way we can fight the good fight against diseases is ensuring you are giving your plants the right amount of water. Did you know that fungal problems can be caused by inconsistent watering, especially if a plant gets too wet? This is important folks, for your outdoor kids and your indoor babies too. Using a moisture meter – available from many reputable shops – will give you a good gauge of what is going on beneath the soil. Again, no rocket scientists need apply. You will get an easy reading. Most have an arrow to let you know if the soil is ‘Dry’, ‘Moist’, or ‘Wet’.
Air flow is also really important. Grab some clean, sharp secateurs and prune your shrubs or trees to retain an open structure. You can bring wall trained plants a few inches away from the wall to allow air to get behind. Often, this can make quite a bit of difference to your plant’s overall vigour and fabulousness.
Finally, lots of fungal leaf problems can overwinter on the ground and get splashed back onto the tree in early spring. Clearing up the leaves when they drop is something you can do little and often so as not create a massive chore for yourself later.
Some bacterial diseases can enter plants through pruning cuts, sneaky devils that they are, so it is important to prune your trees at the right time. Hawthorns and Cotoneasters are highly susceptible to fire blight and will need pruning in winter when the bacteria are not around.
Bacterial canker is absorbed into the pruning cuts on cherries, plums and gages. These need to be pruned when the sap is up, usually in high summer.