The blooming season also welcomes many pests to the gardens. These harmful pests do not only weaken the plants but can also kill them in just a few days. This is why you must take quick actions once you see a pest crawling or flying around your plants. Here are some easy and effective tips to get rid of your garden pests naturally.
Table of Contents
1. Beneficial Insects
Not all insects are pests. Some insects are beneficial for your gardens too. This includes those insects that kill pests and harmful insects. You can get rid of your garden pests by introducing beneficial insects to your home garden. It is a natural way of fighting pests. You can invite these insects to your garden by growing nectar and pollen plants in your garden. These insectary plants attract more beneficial insects like ladybugs, parasitic wasps, ground beetles, and spiders. These will eventually feed on pests and make your garden almost pest-free.
Some pests such as snails, caterpillars, and slugs are much larger for beneficial insects to kill off. So you need a special technique to keep those at bay. You can simply handpick such larger pests off your plants and collect them in a plastic bag to throw later. This trick must be done regularly to completely get rid of the pests. Before you go hand-picking these pests, water your plants. It will drive the pests out of their hiding. If you feel squeamish, you can wear rubber or latex gloves while handpicking the pests.
3. Companion Planting
Another natural way of getting rid of your garden pests is to introduce companion planting in your home garden. Companion plants produce some natural insect repellents that keep the harmful pests out of the garden. Such plants have been being used for centuries to fight garden pests. Garlic is planted to keep out Japanese beetle, spider mites, and aphids; tomatoes are kept free of tomato hornworms by planting basil near them. Marigolds protect cucumbers from nematodes. There are several other companion plants too that you can grow easily in your gardens, such as beans, peas, carrots, and beets.
A fast and effective way to make your garden pest-free is to spray your plants with pesticides. There are several pesticides to choose from, such as slug pellets, spray chemicals, and organic pesticides. Each type can be used for a specific type of problem in gardening. Slug pellets are used against slugs (obviously); organic pesticides are used for fruits and vegetables; spray chemicals are used as a spray for killing small pests. You can get these pesticides from your nearest store. Make sure to use the correct quantity; check on the package for details.
5. Make a DIY Insecticide Spray
If you do not want to buy synthetic pesticides, you can also make your insecticide spray at home. This tip is also cost-effective and eco-friendly. All you have to do is take a spray bottle, fill it with water, and add 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. You should spray your plants after every 3 to 4 days with this insecticide spray. You can also make DIY bug sprays with neem oil, onion, garlic, or Eucalyptus oil.
6. Keep a Healthy Soil
This is another life-hack to prevent any damage to your plants due to pests and harmful insects. A healthy soil helps the plant stay strong against pests and fight them easily. Any damage done by the pests can be overcome easily by the plant if its roots are strong and healthy. You can keep the soil healthy by adding organic substances to it. Organic substances will supply the plant with the essential nutrients; thus, keeping the plant healthy. You can add manure or compost to the soil while re-potting plants to increase their organic content.
7. Physical Barriers
This is the first-line defense against garden pests. There is a particular barrier for particular pests and type of plant that needs to be protected. You can use bags, cages, sticky barriers, copper obstacles, collars, or shields for each type of plant. For example, copper bands are the most effective barriers for keeping the slugs away. Trees are protected by sticky barriers, while you can use shields for flowering plants.
8. Maintain Your Garden
Keeping your garden clean and well-maintained solves a lot of problems. It will also prevent any future outbreak of pests. There are a few tips that will help you with your maintenance strategies:
- Never overwater your plants, or never water them at night. It will make the situation favorable for the pests.
- Use Milorganite or any nitrogen fertilizer to encourage slow and steady growth of the plants. It will make them resistant to pest attacks.
- Mulch the soil with woodchips and shredded leaves. It will promote root growth, and it will also prevent the plant from getting any pests attack through the soil.