There is no greater joy for home gardeners than healthy-looking plants or crops with no signs of pest infestation. Garden pests can be so disappointing. However, some gardeners do not want to resort to using pesticides. Luckily, there are many alternative ways to end your pest problems. There are now natural and organic ways to manage all these garden pests. Plus, they are proved to be effective and last for a long time. Eliminating and preventing garden pests are a very crucial part of maintaining your garden. The following are some organic ways to deal with garden pests.
Plant in clean and healthy soil.
Clean and healthy soil helps create a stronger immune system for your plants. It will help them fight off pests and diseases. To build healthy soil, you can use natural fertilizers like fish and seaweed fertilizer. Use this fertilizer once a month to activate some soil microbes that will boost your soil and plant health.
Choose the best place to plant.
A good area will help you reduce plant stress and your plant’s vulnerability to pests and diseases. Make sure to place your plant somewhere that has the perfect amount of sun (not too little and not too much.) You may make use of your aged compost to give your plants the essential nutrients they need.
Choose pest-resistant plant varieties.
Some seed packets have a pest-resistant and disease-resistant label on them. Mix these plant varieties in your garden to build diversity. Mixing them will help avoid the quick spreading of pests and diseases that affect certain types of plants. Make sure to note problems in your plants and keep track of their growth.
Have beneficial insects in your garden.
Encourage these beneficial insects to come and stick around because they prey on pests. These insects will come to your garden to search for pollen, nectar, and shelter. To let them stick around, you could grow flowers that attend to their needs. When these beneficial insects lay eggs in your garden, you will have a patrol of them to keep garden pests away from your plants.
Trap garden pests with a lure.
Visual and olfactory lures will help you with your garden pests issues. Set up yellow sticky boards to control the whiteflies, cabbage worms, and cucumber beetles. Fill some shallow pans with yeast and beer to attract slugs and snails. You can also attract earwigs by rolling some damp newspapers.
Control the growth of weeds in your garden.
Weeds take away valuable resources like nutrients, water, and light from plants. And most of the time, weeds attract and shelter garden pests and parasites. So it very essential to pull out the roots of your weeds entirely out of your garden soil.
Maintain the cleanliness of your garden.
Remove plant debris like fallen leaves and faded blooms away from your garden. Pests, fungus, bugs, and diseases often hide and breed in decaying plants. Always pick up garden litter. Also, remind yourself to turn your soil between plantings or during the fall season to expose pests and parasites.
Handpick garden pests off your plants.
You can handpick large insects, snails, slugs, caterpillars, and insect eggs away from your plants. Then, you can put these harmful pests in soapy water to kill them. To get rid of small insects, you may shake them from your plant leaves onto paper, then dispose of them quickly.
Repel pests with strong-scented herbs.
Planting strong-scented herbs near or among your other plants can help repel the harmful garden pests. Grow perennial herbs with a strong scent at the edge of your vegetable garden to deter pests from going near your plants. Examples of strong-scented plants are coriander, calendula, and garlic.
Use some pest barriers.
Pest barriers are another natural and effective way of dealing with garden pests. Put up some floating row covers, copper strips, or some sticky band to shut out garden pests from coming near your plants or planting beds. Push into the soil and surround your plants with some ring of tar papers to scare off worms and slugs.
Do crop rotation.
If you grow the same plant in the same spot every year, specific garden pests may stay in that area. These pests will wait for your next planting, then attack your planted crop. It is crucial to practice crop rotation to avoid garden pests from eating up your plants. Plus, they help keep the essential nutrients in your soil from being depleted.
Use non-toxic sprays.
You can control garden pests and harmful insects by using non-toxic sprays. You may use a water hose that has forceful spray to dislodge garden pests. Horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, and insecticides produced from plant extracts like sabadilla, pyrethrum, and neem, can be used as natural alternatives to pesticides.