Your garden will be more successful and your harvest will be much bigger if you start with healthy plants. Healthy plants will even produce sweeter tasting fruits and vegetables. There are several places where you can purchase plants. You can go to your local garden center or nursery, and often even find them at a neighborhood grocery stores.
One of the main ways to determine the health of a plant is by the way it looks. Firm stems and leaves are a good sign that the plant has been well cared for.
Always avoid plants that are drooping and wilted. This generally means that the plant hasn’t received enough water and the roots could be severely damaged. You should also avoid plants that have holey leaves. This usually points to an insect or pest infestation.
Never purchase a plant that has already started producing small fruits or vegetables. It might seem like a good way to get a quicker harvest, but that’s not the case at all. In fact, there’s a much higher risk that the plant won’t survive. Transplanting and relocating results in a lot of trauma for a plant. If it’s already blooming, it might not survive the stress and you could end up with a dead plant.
Before you purchase a plant check the roots carefully. Generally if the plant looks good and healthy, the roots will be healthy as well. But, this isn’t always the case. If the roots are brown, soft or show any signs of rotting, choose a different plant. Healthy roots should be firm and they should almost fill the small commercial pot. A few small roots in a pot full of soil is a bad sign.
Some plants can be nursed back to health, but it’s usually not worth the risk. You could end up with a very poor harvest, or no harvest at all. You can reduce the amount of stress from relocating and transplanting the plant. Simply allow the plant to set in the area where you plan to plant it for a few days. This way the plant can adjust to the new light and weather conditions before you replant it.
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved