With gardening weather here and the plants all in their growing season, it’s time to talk about what all gardeners dread: garden pests, both mammal and insect. They get into your garden and lawn, munching on whatever they can find. If you want to keep your outdoor area looking nice and your produce safe, then here are some tips to keep those pesky pests away!
Garden Pests Pesticides
Whether you go natural or chemical, pesticides are one way to get rid of garden pests of the insect variety. However, any kind of pesticide also runs the risk of killing off beneficial insects like pollinators, as well as potentially causing soil issues. What you really want to do is find ways to strengthen the ecosystem, instead.
Keep the Garden Clean
One thing that can attract various pests is sick plants and debris. They like to hide in the mess, coming out to eat the nearby plants. Try to keep your garden and lawn relatively clean by weeding routinely, pruning any plants that won’t survive, and picking up anything that makes a good hiding place. Just remember not to use the damaged/sick plants in your compost, so that you don’t spread their sickness to your other plants.
Encourage Healthy Soil
For healthy plants, you need to have healthy soil for them to grow in. Keeping your soil fertilized and balanced using natural fertilizers once a month can help your soil stay in tip-top shape, which will help your plants fight off diseases and garden pests.
Pick Resistant Plants
If you can select plants that are more naturally resistant to pests, then you’ll have fewer to deal with. Sometimes it’s as easy as switching from an American version to another nationality, and sometimes you just have to change the variety. A few examples are tight-husked corn over looser varieties, acorn squash over summer squash, and red cabbage over regular cabbage.
Add Diatomaceous Earth
This natural garden pest deterrent is made up of fossilized algae that’s been crushed up into a powdery form. Diatomaceous earth poses a serious danger to many insects, especially the ones that have an exoskeleton. Within 48 hours of coming into contact with this stuff, these kinds of bugs will dehydrate and die. For garden pests like snails and slugs, this product feels like crawling across glass. Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth on the ground around your plants that you’re looking to protect and reapply after rain. Just keep in mind that this earth doesn’t discriminate between bad bugs and good ones, so be careful where you place it!
Cover It Up
Another great way to keep pests away from your plants, be they bug or bunny, is to install coverings of some sort. Lightweight row covers will allow light and water to reach your plants while keeping insects away. These are recommended for use on younger plants until they mature to let them grow. Things like cloches or tunnel hoops with nets can be used to keep things like deer, rabbits, birds, and mice from nibbling on your produce.
Use Strong Scents
One thing that you’ll find that deters a wide variety of garden pests is strong smells. Insects tend to avoid certain herbs: basil, mint, citronella, lemongrass, garlic, etc. Plants these among/around your garden to keep pests out of the way. You can also sprinkle used coffee grounds on the soil, creating a smell barrier that will discourage pests.
Finding ways to repel pests, furry or crawly, from chowing down on your garden and yard doesn’t have to be hard or chemical-filled. Try out a few of these tips and let us know how it goes!
Pest Free Home
If you have more questions about how we help you have a garden pest free home, give us a call at 941-875-3559. We take pride in our gardening expertise, and our goal is to make your lawn look the best it can be, so don’t hesitate to call for our services today!