Your vegetable garden represents an investment of your time, money and pride. A good harvest can be very rewarding- especially for those of us who are new to gardening. Unfortunately, pests can steal the fruits of your labor and leave your garden in a poor state. Fortunately, there are many ways to eliminate the threat posed by pests of all kinds. In this article, we will examine 4 ways to keep pests out of your summer garden crop.
Identify the Culprits
Different crops attract different types of pests. An insect that may be harmless to one varietal could be disastrous for another. Before you can solve your pest problem, you must know what pest you need to get rid of. To find the source of your pest problem identify where they are attacking your plants.
If they are hitting the leaves there will be marks and if they are hitting the stems the same is true. Google is your friend when it comes to identifying the pests you have. Remember that pests can be regional so local gardening resources are invaluable as well. You can find info ranging from rodent control to Japanese gardening techniques at your local library.
Add Diversity to Your Garden
One trick used by farmers is to grow complimentary crops together. For example, many farmers grow soybeans and corn together because they use and replenish different nutrients in the soil. Cycling/replacing plants in your garden can make it an unwelcome place for many pests. The additional plants need not be specialized to one purpose- there are many tasty, edible plants that you can cycle in to avoid the spread of pests.
Using chemicals should be seen as a last resort, but in many situations it is necessary. When these chemicals are using sparingly and with care they can be incredibly effective and safe. They are not as gentle on your soil as traditional remedies but there are some virulent pests that will not respond to anything short of pesticides.
This traditional Indian remedy comes from the Neem plant. This plant has natural herbicides and fungicides that prevent it from being preyed upon by insect pests. A great way to keep your plants safe without using pesticides is to mix some neem oil in a spray bottle with water. You then spray your garden with the solution.
Your summer garden deserves to be safe from pests. As long as you take the proper precautions and respond to threats quickly you will be well on your way to a splendidly green garden.