08 Jan How to Stop Pests from Targeting Your Garden
It doesn’t matter where you plant your garden. You can even have it inside in containers! Pests will find a way to reach your plants, target your harvest, and spoil your hard work.
One way to limit this damage naturally is to create gardens in raised beds. Their construction creates some natural controls that work with trap crops, fencing, and similar techniques to keep everything safe.
Why Does It Help to Grow Gardens Above Ground Level?
Gardens have an ecosystem that requires diversity to thrive. When you have toxic chemicals, pest access, and other issues that upset this balance, it’s harder to create positive results.
Installing natural controls can restore this balance while proactively stopping problems that would normally develop without them present.
Even if you only have a couple of raised beds in your garden, you’ll have enough influence over the entire area to encourage a healthier ecosystem. It can encourage natural predators, reduce pesticide use, and provide a protective shell against pests that would target your plants’ roots.
Many barrier methods, such as fencing, fabric, and mesh, can work with raised beds to increase your protection levels. Although some of these options are expensive from a commercial view, the DIY approach can be cost-effective. Some items can even get made with leftover materials.
Best Ways to Stop Pests with Non-Toxic Organic Methods
The best option for many gardens is to introduce biological controls. When you have the natural predators around that eat the insects that damage your plants, a long-term protection solution develops. For many gardeners, this step is their first line of defense.
After installing barriers to protect the garden, different foliar treatments and sprays can manage a persistent infestation. These items are less useful in areas that receive frequent watering, so you might want to turn the sprinklers off for a couple of days before applying these items.
You can also use soil surface treatments to manage a challenging pest infestation. Most gardeners dust or spray these items on the dirt below to stop snails, slugs, and similar soft-bodied troublemakers.
Here are some product suggestions to try if you notice a pest problem isn’t resolving in your garden.
- Neem oil comes from a tree that grows naturally in India. It contains salannin, which is a compound that repels insects without damaging your crop. If you spray a diluted oil onto your foliage, it can kill larvae, eggs, and adult insects.
- Diatomaceous earth comes from crushed freshwater plankton that had silica-based exoskeletons. This product hinders insect movement around your plants. Try spreading it in a continuous line around your raised bed perimeter.
- Sticky traps are a less humane, but equally effective way of determining what pests adversely impact your garden.
A final option to consider is a floating row cover. This thin material can go directly on the soil or stretch over a frame to stop outside invaders.
What strategies have you developed to stop pests from eating the fruits of your labor?