A garden makes for the perfect addition to any backyard. Gardens add natural beauty, attract beneficial insects such as honey bees, and provide fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables. However, gardens also attract all sorts of pests that can quickly destroy your hard work if you aren’t careful.
Unfortunately, getting rid of pests is a little tricky, as the whole point of growing your own garden is to produce fresh food that you know is chemical and pesticide-free. Most home gardeners will want to steer clear of harmful insecticides. Luckily, there are plenty of useful organic pest control methods you can work with to keep your garden protected.
Here are some easy and effective ways to keep pests out of your garden without dangerous chemical pesticides:
First and foremost, you want to make sure you have rich, healthy soil for your plants. This usually requires mixing matureorganic compost with your soil or buying a high-quality soil mix from your local nursery. This will ensure that your plants grow strong and develop a resistance to pests.
Some gardeners start their plants indoors and then transport them outside when they’ve passed their critical growing period. Others use screens such as row covers to keep insects out while new plants are growing.
Strong, healthy plants can withstand pest invasions for longer periods, so you can prune the damaged plants and leaves before figuring out what kind of pests you’ll have to take care of. Younger, weaker plants, on the other hand, may die if they are disturbed during the growing process.
Plant Your Companions
There are “companion” plants that you can grow that will repel many different kinds of pests, and they double as delicious vegetables! For example, radishes repel cucumber beetles, celery can deter white cabbage months, and onions or garlic can deter many types of aphids.
There are various types of sprays you can use that may be harmless as far as humans and pets are concerned, but incredibly useful for repelling pests. Diatomaceous earth is a popular ingredient that is used to fight many types of pests. According to Wikipedia, diatomaceous earth can absorb lipids from insect exoskeletons, which dehydrates and kills them. This ingredient is commonly sprinkled near crops, and you can even mix it with water and spray it on your plants for maximum effectiveness.
Other sprays that organic gardeners can employ include, but are not limited to oil sprays, garlic sprays, hot pepper sprays, baby shampoo, and essential oils. For your convenience, you can load these sprays into pest control equipment, which makes applying them to your plants much easier.
There are many types of insects and animals you can deploy to help you with your pest problems. Ladybugs will help control your aphid populations while praying mantises will happily eat offending beetles and caterpillars. If you have space in your backyard, you can even keep some ducks around to deter slugs.
Organic Solutions For Your Garden
If you need to protect your garden with non-chemical methods, these organic pest control methods are a great start. However, pay careful attention to which pests are invading your plants as each technique and homemade product is most effective with specific varieties of insect. Everyone’s garden is different, as the local ecology will host its own variety of beneficial insects and harmful pests. With a little patience and experience, however, your garden will be thriving in no time.