How to Deal With Common Pests in the Garden

May 17, 2020

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Pests are common problems in gardens. Some pests attack your vegetables and fruits, making them inedible. Other pests eat vegetables and fruit, significantly reducing your harvest. There are many types of common pests that you might see in your garden. The good news is there’s a way to get rid of each of them.

Beneficial insects

Keep in mind that not all insects are pests. For example, bumblebees are a critical pollinator. Gall midges eat up to 60 different types of aphids that might be attacking your crops. Ladybugs feed on aphids and mites that can lower your harvest. Praying mantises can eat beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets who eat your tomato plants and other vegetables. It’s essential to work with a professional pest control company, for example, Moxie Pest Control can create a plan that eliminates pests and insects while letting beneficial ones thrive.

Fragrant plants

Planting fragrant plants around the outside of your garden can help deter deer, rabbits, and other animals who think you’re growing a feast for them. Deer are often discouraged by plants with small, bristly, or soft hairs on them, so plant these types of plants along the outside of your garden. Sage, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and lavender can also be great choices to keep deer and rabbits away. While planting them on the edge of your garden helps, you can also intersperse these plants throughout your garden for further protection.

Soap

If you notice your plants have pests on them, you may want to spray them with a soap solution. You can easily make your own solution at home by combining five tablespoons of castile soap in a gallon of water. Spray the solution on a plant and wait a day to see if leaf damage appears. If it doesn’t, spray the rest of the infected plants. If it does, dilute the solution further before using it. You can also tailor your basic solution to target specific pests. If you have cabbage moths, for example, put three tablespoons of cayenne pepper in a quart of water and spray your plants.

Diatomaceous earth

If you’re having trouble with pests eating your melon crops, diatomaceous earth can help. Make sure to get food-grade earth so if it accidentally gets on your melons, you can still eat them safely. Generously sprinkle the diatomaceous earth under the leaves of your melon crop. On upright plants, such as tomatoes or peas, sprinkle diatomaceous earth in a circle on the ground around the plant to keep slugs and snails away.

Lime and blood meal

You can find lime and blood meal at almost any hardware store. Using them is a great way to deter rabbits and dogs from your garden. Start by sprinkling the blood meal between the rows of your garden; then cover it with a layer of lime. The blood meal will repel most small animals like rabbits and skunks. The lime will deter dogs. While you’re at it, sprinkle the lime around the outside of your garden to keep dogs out in the first place.

Companion plants

You can stop a lot of pests by planting certain crops together. For example, plant onions, shallots and garlic near your carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, and broccoli to stop aphids, moles and weevils. Plant basil near tomatoes or asparagus to prevent aphids, flies, mosquitoes, spider mites, tomato hornworms, and asparagus beetles. Plant celery near broccoli, cabbage, leeks, tomatoes, and cauliflower to stop many types of moths. And while you’ll need to control how fast it spreads, planting catnip beside your eggplants can help deter black beetles.

Watch your garden

One of the best ways to stop pests from ruining your crop is to watch your garden. When you see an insect or worm on your plants, remove it immediately. They particularly like to hide under leaves, so be sure to look there often.

There are many ways to stop pests from destroying your garden. Choose the issues that you have the most trouble with and apply these ideas to solve them. Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

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