Prevention has always been better than cure whether it’s your health or garden pests. Not only is prevention more economical, it’s less frustrating and time engaging. Over the years, the use of chemical pesticides has long been the go-to during pest invasions but the residual and direct effects on one’s health, such as pesticide poisoning, far outweighs the benefits of using chemicals. As a result, those who are conscious about the environment and their health have opted for more natural and organic preventative methods. Better still, you can find ways to improve your garden in a way that you’ll eliminate even the need for organic pesticides. Here are six strategies to be successful at that:
Attract Beneficial Pests
In the avoidance of garden pests, beneficial insect patrolling is critical. These beneficial pests will inevitably come to look for shelter, pollen, and nectar in your garden. Parasite wasps, lacewings, ladybugs, damsel bugs, hoverflies, minute pirate bugs are just a handful of the helpful bugs that help manage pest plagues. They achieve this by consuming the pests, feeding their developing young with them, or using them to hatch their young.
To make your garden attractive to these good bugs, provide them with nectar that is rich in carbohydrates. Cultivate several flowers, such as calendula, dill, cosmos, yarrow, sweet alyssum, coriander, and more. This creates a shelter for beneficial pests to lay their eggs within the vicinity and create an army.
Intercropping is a great way to confuse pests, making it difficult for them to find a home in your garden. For some pests to identify and confirm that a certain plant is an appropriate host, it may have to settle on the same plant severally. In monocrops, this is easily achieved. In intercropping, the pests land on different plants each time, making them go search elsewhere. Industrial farms use lots of pesticides as pests thrive on monocrops. Instead of monocropping, increase the plant diversity of your garden by interplanting vegetables with pest-repelling and beneficial insect-attracting flowers and herbs.
Use Physical Barriers
One of the most beneficial ways to rid your garden of pests is to use physical barriers between the pests and the plants. For instance, you can use floating row covers or insect mesh to prevent access of the cabbageworm caterpillars to kale, broccoli, and cabbage. You can use a spun-bound, lightweight fabric to cover plants that are susceptible to pests by using wire hoops and pinning the sides on the ground to prevent pests crawling through the edges. Similarly, you can cover young squash plants, cucumber plants, and bean plants to keep vine borers and squash beetles, cucumber beetles, and Mexican bean beetles at bay. Be keen to notice when the plants begin to flower so as to remove the cover, thus allowing pollination.
Keep Plants Healthy
Healthy, strong, stress-free plants generate a natural defense to pests and are less susceptible to attacks. Plants grown in suitable conditions, well fed and well-watered in dry environments, will easily ward off pests without your intervention. Don’t neglect the soil. Feeding it lots of well-rotted organic stuff like compost will promote a flourishing root system, supporting healthy growth of the plants above the ground. To raise healthy, thriving plants, ensure you give them the right conditions that is, grow shade plants under shade and sun plants in the sun.
Choose Resistant Varieties
Certain species of plants are more likely than others to be infested. Preventing pests in your greenhouse is often as straightforward as picking pest-resistant varieties. Take time to research seed catalogues for the most suitable variety options in order to eliminate pest infestations later on. For instance, the most pest resistant summer squash variety is the tromboncino, for winter squash, royal acorn and butternut. Or opt for the potato variety that shakes off eelworms or carrot-fly resistant carrots and other disease and pest resistant varieties.
Fend Off Pests
A simple way to fend off garden pests is to plant perennial, strong-scented herbs at the edges such as chives, thyme, or anise hyssop. Additionally, near your vegetables, or blended in with them, plant strong scented herbs like garlic, coriander, or calendula. However, in some cases, no matter what we do, we end up getting a pest infestation. While there are various pest control measures, lots of them use harsh chemicals. The best option would be to get professionals like Excel Pest Services to handle the infestation in a way that the garden and soil don’t deteriorate. Check out https://www.excelpestservices.com for more details on the services they offer.