Plants need nutrients too

I clearly haven’t been in the mood to write blog posts for the past few months. Not that there haven’t been plenty of potential topics; I’m just not motivated.

When spring finally arrived, I got out in the garden. This year I focused on soil improvement. We don’t have the best soil here, so conditioning and nutrients are priorities. No surprise: my efforts paid off. Plants looked healthy and happy right away.

After a few weeks, I noticed some signs of disease in a couple of the tomato plants. Anyone who has grown tomatoes knows that they are susceptible to a variety of bacterial and viral diseases, along with insect infestations, many of which lead to early plant death. Heirloom varieties are most susceptible to diseases, but other popular varieties can also become infected. The best solution is to remove the diseased plant so other plants aren’t infected.

First step: I clipped off the obviously diseased leaves and branches. When that didn’t result in remarkable recovery, I got out my bag of organic vegetable fertilizer powder and spread a healthy dose around the plants, digging it into the top layer of soil. I also aerated the soil around the plants. Now a couple of weeks later, I can see that the plants are doing OK. One is even putting out new, healthy leaves and branches with healthy flowers.

I also had a large tree in the yard that was clearly suffering. Branches were dying off, it was oozing sap. I started looking into suitable replacement trees. Then I decided to do something. Aggressive watering, tree fertilizer and cleaning out the various ground cover plants that were stealing all the nutrients from the tree. Cutting off some unsightly dead branches. Result: a few weeks later my tree is making a comeback. All the new growth is healthy; it’s not oozing sap anymore. Plus I enjoyed the hard work of digging out those nasty overgrown ground cover plants.

What’s the message? Sick plants can respond to care and nutritional intervention. Sick, poorly nourished or stressed people can also respond to better nutrition. Nutrition and diet improvement isn’t hard, but it does take some discipline and motivation. I’ve had nice feedback about my book “Food Wisdom for Women” from people who have used some of the advice to improve the health of elderly relatives in their care. When an 80-something regains her mental and physical energy and her interest in social activities after simple diet changes, that’s wonderful.

Meanwhile I’m thinking about new blog topics. The list includes:

  • sleep nutrition – yes it’s a thing, but not well researched yet
  • sourdough bread — does it affect digestion differently compared to commercial yeast bread?
  • omega-3 fatty acids, particularly test kits and new information about health effects
  • protein: elderly people do need more, plant protein sources and easy protein snacks
  • weight loss diets, including lessons from quarantine eating
  • quinoa: I don’t like it
  • berries: are they really all that?
  • myths about food fats
  • calories
  • His and Hers multiples

There, that should keep me busy and motivated for a few weeks anyway. Now back to the garden, there are beans to pick and zucchinis to discover.

Copyright: All content © 2020 Nutrition Strategy Advisors LLC. Photographs © Donna P Feldman, unless otherwise attributed. Reproduction or use without permission is prohibited.