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- Winnebago County sheriff names chief deputy
- URGENT: Four votes and we could lose on Keystone
- Guest Column: Housing Authority CEO: Time to unify behind quality living
- Rockford police investigate 17th Street murder
- Clean water under attack in the U.S. Congress
- Man faces charges following attempted armed robbery
- Discovery Center experiences record public attendance
- Pet Talk: Probiotics for your pets
- Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December
Gardening News: Strengthen plants this season with new tools for gardening
By Melinda Myers
Gardening Expert, TV & Radio Host, Author and Columnist
As gardeners well know, there are plenty of challenges landscapes will face throughout the growing season. Heat, drought, pests and disease can all take their toll on plants, causing wilting, brown leaves, damage and even plant death. Fortunately, gardeners now have an exciting new organic tool for growing healthy, productive and beautiful landscapes all season long.
Researchers have discovered that when some plants are stressed, they produce certain molecules that help them better tolerate environmental stresses as well as insect and disease attacks. They isolated the molecules and applied them to other plants. This improved the treated plants’ own natural defenses, much like immunizations do for us.
All natural plant strengtheners, like JAZ Spray, were developed as a result of these findings. Plant strengtheners immunize plants against environmental stresses such as heat and drought, while building their defenses against insects and diseases.
They are not fertilizers that provide nutrients, nor are they pesticides that kill the insects and disease organisms. This new tool can help gardeners deal with gardening challenges that are beyond their control. By using a plant strengthener, you are proactively boosting a plant’s immune system before environmental stresses hit, and ultimately helping it thrive as it faces serious challenges throughout the season.
These natural plant-derived products improve plant health and resilience by strengthening their resistance to plant stressors, including heat, drought, over-watering, insects and disease. They have become a valuable and must-have tool for both beginning and experienced gardeners — especially given the variable and unpredictable weather patterns we’ve experienced in recent years.
They can also increase gardening success when busy schedules, vacations or lack of experience get in the way of providing ideal care.
Begin treating established plants from the start of the season to help build their natural defenses. Treated plants will be more robust, suffer less damage and recover more quickly from stress. Plant strengtheners are also effective when applied at the first sign of stress or when moving plants indoors for winter, since the lower light and lower humidity conditions can be very stressful on these plants.
Prepare your plants for the growing season by arming yourself with this exciting new line of organic products that are safe for pets, kids and the environment.
Always remember that proper soil preparation, plant selection, and care are also critical in growing beautiful, productive and healthy plants. Monitor your plants’ health throughout the growing season. Uncovering problems early may be the difference between a little cleanup and the need to treat. If treatment is needed, look for the most eco-friendly products available.
Investing a bit of time and energy now to lay the foundation for a healthy and productive landscape will surely pay off with low-maintenance, beautiful gardens for years to come.
For more gardening tips, visit www.melindamyers.com.
Nationally-known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and The Garden Book for Wisconsin. She hosts the nationally-syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments, which air on 89 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Visit www.melindamyers.com.
From the June 20-26, 2012, issue