Alongside good soil, adequate sunlight and plenty of water, keeping pests and predators at bay is a crucial ingredient in a healthy garden. If you care about your health and the environment, simply bombarding a garden with pesticides isn’t usually the best course of action. Instead, use these simple tips to curtail pest activity in garden beds.
Design Your Garden Intelligently
If you carefully plan your flower and vegetable placement ahead of time, you can drastically reduce pests with little additional effort. Avoiding long rows of a single plant is a good start. Try mixing garlic with carrots in an alternating grid pattern. Plants like fennel attract wasps that will pick off caterpillars drawn to leafy greens.
Prep the Soil for Specific Plants
In many cases, effective pest control starts from the ground up. For instance, many gardeners mix a fair amount of wood ash into the soil around tomatoes to deter aphids. Citric acid aka lemon or lime juice can be sprinkled around any plant to keep a slew of critters at bay.
Eliminate Infected Plants Early On
Despite your best efforts, some plants will be casualties in the war against pests. If you can’t simply trim off a bug-ridden vine or leaf and solve the problem, yank the plant ASAP and treat its neighbors. An infected plant will simply act as a launch pad for pests that will cause more damage.
Sanitize Bordering Pest Havens
Ideally, your garden should have a buffer zone around it that can be carefully monitored for pests making inroads. Trim away nearby weeds and shrubs at a minimum. Have your home checked for pests that might make the jump to a nearby garden by a qualified company like Midwest Pest Control, a Tulsa pest control service.
Use Sacrificial Plants to Draw Bugs
Sometimes, sacrificial plants along the edge of the garden are the best way to keep pests from the good stuff. Nasturtiums and nettles are like catnip to many aphids. Redroot pigweed will keep beetles off of your tomatoes. Flea beetles will attack arugula before going after other low-lying veggies.
Experience Is the Best Teacher
If you’re new to gardening, you may be surprised at how much know-how is required to prevent pests from spoiling the party. It’s inevitable that you’ll make a few mistakes before you zero in on the perfect strategy. Take note of the return on your efforts and refine the approach each year.