World Day of Plant Health….

Both our health and the health of planet earth depend on plants. The earlier we treat them well, the safer we are.

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Plants make up 80 per cent of the food we eat and 98 per cent of the oxygen we breathe and yet they are under threated.  Up to 40 per cent of food crops are lost due to plant pests and diseases every year. This is affecting both food security and agriculture, the main source of income for vulnerable rural communities.  

Climate change and human activities are altering ecosystems and damaging biodiversity while creating new niches for pests to thrive. International travel and trade, which has tripled in volume in the last decade, is also spreading pests and diseases. We need to protect plants both for people and the planet, and all of us have a role to play. 

Image ref: FAO

Today, all over the world, the International Day of Plant Health is being observed to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development.

To join the world and lend our voices as well as action to save our habitat, here are some eco-friendly ways you can engage in to help protect the environment with self-sustaining gardening habits.

Conserve water: 

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Water is our most precious resource, and making sure you’re not wasting it is critical to keeping our ecosystem healthy. Before watering your garden, dig a small hole—maybe two or three inches—in your garden and feel with your finger if the soil is moist. If it is, watering can wait. Also, collect rainwater in a rain barrel or other containers to water your plants instead of using water from the faucet.

Recycle plastic bottles and containers: 

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Plastic waste is a major cause of environmental damage. You can help the fight against plastic by recycling it in your own garden, which you can do by converting plastic bottles into watering cans or by creating plant protectors around vulnerable or new growth. You can even get more creative with old plastic containers, like using an old ice cube tray to start seedlings.

Choose the right plants:

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Native plants will require less maintenance—and in most cases, less water, too. When plants need fewer resources to thrive, it helps your garden stay self-sustaining and healthy.

Use the good dirt:

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Common dirt could contain weed seeds, fungi, or pests. Potting soil from your local garden centre contains a mixture of materials that can include peat moss and organic matter. When you pot your plants, make sure the dirt is slightly moist so the roots can begin working.

Use natural fertilizers and herbicides:

Image ref: HGTV

Many fertilizers and herbicides can be harmful to our ecosystem, especially as they mix with rainwater and seep into the ground. Luckily, there are many natural options you can use to both fertilize your plants and remove unwanted weeds. For fertilizer, use natural compost, or other organic options that contain ingredients like fish meal, alfalfa meal, rock phosphate, and greensand. When it comes to getting rid of weeds, you can combine salt or white vinegar with water, which won’t cause any adverse damage to your garden’s ecosystem when used in moderation.

You might not see the impact of what you’re doing but be guaranteed that it goes a long way to help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development.

Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.

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