Pests are unwanted creatures in every organic garden. They usually cause minor damages which can be controlled with regular plant care. However, if you allow them to go unattended for too long, they may spread and inflict real damage to your plants, which are sometimes untreatable.
Pests can be incredibly annoying to your gardening efforts. You may see your veggies wilting, your fruit trees being eaten alive, and your flowers getting destroyed. All of this can be very discouraging, but luckily, there are some things you can do to keep pests out of the garden.
Removing pests from your garden that can quickly kill your plants is a lot easier than you may think. The first step is to simply regularly inspect the plants in your garden.
The activities of pests in your garden sometimes can become so annoying that you’d want to get rid of them immediately. Fortunately, there are multiple methods that are safe, practical, and organic.
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Try Intercropping Planting
This method of planting requires you to grow two or more crops in proximity. The usual cause of this planting practice is to make maximum use of soil resources and encourage healthy growth. If you want to repel pests with this method, it’ll help you to avoid monocultures and thereby discourage garden pests as they won’t get the perfect species for settling in.
Include Pest Resistant Plants
The best organic way to get rid of garden pests is to grow pest-resistant plants such as leeks, onions, and garlic. Other root vegetables that are naturally resistant to insects are radishes, which are prone to slugs and snail attacks. Rhubarb is another good option that contains oxalic acid in a high amount. Some vegetable strains are developed to combat typical insect pests, in addition to others that are bred to manage common pest problems. The King Harry potato is a particular potato strain with hairy leaves that can resist potato bug infestations.
Welcome Beneficial Insects
While pollinators are known to be beneficial insects, there are many other species that can aid you in maintaining a healthy garden. Ladybugs, spiders & spider mites, lacewings, ground beetles, and damsel bugs are just a few examples. These beneficial insects are natural predators and parasitoids of garden pests such as wasps and earwigs. They may well help decrease the risk of insect attacks in your garden.
Encourage Healthy Soil
Do you know why having good soil is so important in order to combat insect invasions? Healthy soil is critical for plants’ robust immune system. If your garden plants have a strong immune system, they’ll be able to fight pests and infections more effectively. You can use natural fertilizers and manures once a month to stimulate soil microorganisms if your garden doesn’t have healthy soil naturally.
Ensure Plant Health
Plants that are healthy have stronger resistance and can defend themselves from pests or diseases brought on by garden pests. If you plant different cultivars in the right spot and cultivate them with care, you’ll be sure to improve their health. Making certain that your plants get enough water, feeding them with manure, using appropriate organic fertilizers, thinning some plants, and ensuring sufficient sunshine are all important responsibilities.
Use Physical Barriers
There are some smart effective ways to control pest attacks and you can try most of them at home. Some of these physical defences or barriers are mentioned below:
- Cloches: Cloches are coverings that are made with transparent plastic sheets, glass, or plexiglass. These look and act like small greenhouses. Cloches can protect your plants from pest attacks all year long and also from cold snaps in winter. You can buy cloches from nurseries and online stores or make them with inexpensive materials. If you want to make small cloches for each plant, plastic bottles and jars are great options. However, make sure that the bottom has no gap.
- Nets: If you want to protect your plants from birds and small animals that feed on plants, nets are the best options. While getting a mesh for your garden, make sure the mesh is small enough so that the birds can’t stick their heads through the microscopic holes.
- Copper Wire: Placing copper wires near plants can help you to get rid of slugs and snail attacks. Crushed eggshells are also good options if your concern is about slugs and snails.
- Floating Row Covers: These covers are usually made with lightweight fabrics to let fresh air and sunlight in and promote the photosynthesis of healthy plants. You can either drape floating row covers over your plants or hold them up with stakes and hoops.
Use Organic Bug Spray
Though chemical pesticides should be avoided, you can instead use an organic bug spray to keep your garden free of harmful pests. You can try adding 2-3 teaspoons of organic liquid dishwasher soap in a spray bottle filled with warm water. The amount of dishwasher soap will depend upon the size of the spray bottle. Also, make sure you add the soap after filling the bottle as otherwise, it’ll create bubbles.
Harvest on Time
If you fall behind your harvest time, it can cause a pest attack to some extent. Over ripen fruits falling off your garden trees and plopping all over the ground can attract pests to your garden. Also, over-ripen fruits and vegetables that cling to the plants can make the plants decline with time. Weak plants are always the first targets of pests and hence you need to be careful about the harvest time. Always harvest on time to avoid overripen crops and also clean up the fallen fruits immediately from the ground.
Stay Proactive Instead of Reactive
A pest attack can also be an opportunity to learn some important facts about your garden. For example, a pest attack can be caused by low minerals in the soil, which is making the plants weak and prone to pests. Knowing it will help you find the right organic material that’ll enhance your soil health. It’s important to learn about the garden ecosystem and strengthen it through a process of prevention. If you don’t pay too much attention to pest control, it can cost you huge damage in the future. That’s why you need to stay a little proactive rather than reactive.
Now that you know the best ways to keep pests out of your garden, go ahead and try the most convenient ones. If you try all of the above tricks, the most harmful pests and insects will be at bay from your valuable plants.
People Also Ask
What is the most common garden pest?
- Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that suck the fluids from plants. Because they only live a week, aphids are difficult to control.
- Caterpillars feed on leaves and flower buds, destroying a plant’s
- Cutworms are nocturnal caterpillars that attack plants.
- Fungus gnats.
- Leaf miners are the larvae of various insects, notably moths, flies, and beetles.
How do you deal with vegetable garden pests?
To deal with pests in your vegetable garden, it is important to first identify the type of pest you are dealing with. Common methods for dealing with common vegetable garden pests include removing and destroying infested plants, applying organic or chemical pesticides, introducing natural predators and parasites, using crop covers or row covers, hand-picking insects off of plants, and mulching heavily around plant bases. Ultimately, the key to keeping pests out of your vegetable garden is a combination of prevention, monitoring, and control techniques.
What is eating my plants at night?
Some insects, such as earwigs and slugs, eat at night and hide during the day. In the home vegetable garden, handpicking caterpillars, beetles, and slugs and dropping them into soapy water may be successful.
What can I use to stop bugs from eating my plants?
You can use a number of things to stop bugs from eating your plants, including:
- Organic or chemical pesticides
- Natural Vinegar Aphid Spray
- Crop covers or row covers
- Hand-picking insects off of plants
- Mulching heavily around plant bases
- planting resistant varieties of crops
- removing and destroying infested plants
- introducing natural predators and parasites
What bug eats holes in leaves?
The larvae of various insects, notably moths, flies, and beetles, are known to eat holes in leaves. These insects are often referred to as leaf miners. Leaf miners typically cause damage to the leaves of plants, but they can also infest the stems and fruit of some plants.
What is the best homemade insecticide?
A popular homemade insecticide is made with dish soap and water. To make this insecticide, simply mix 1 tablespoon of dish soap with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Be sure to shake the mixture well before spraying it on your plants. You may need to experiment with the ratio of dish soap to water depending upon the size of the spray bottle.
Do coffee grounds repel insects?
Coffee grounds are known to repel some insects, including slugs and snails. You can sprinkle coffee grounds around your plants or add them to your compost pile. However, coffee grounds may also attract other pests, such as ants and termites, so be sure to keep an eye on your plants after using them.