When you live in the home of someone else, seeing birds land on a newly seeded area of land can seem cute. But, when you are trying to grow your own food, those cute birds can quickly become pests, as can rodents, slugs, and other common inhabitants of your garden.
From chewing on leaves to digging in the soil, pests can wreak havoc on your garden and leave you feeling helpless. But don’t worry if you see slugs munching on your newly sprouted lettuce; there are several ways to prevent your garden from being damaged by pests.
This article highlights 5 easy-to-follow strategies you can use to keep your garden fruits and vegetables healthy.
Use Physical Barriers
One of the simplest ways to keep pests out of your garden is to create physical barriers. Fencing can be an effective solution, especially for larger pests like deer and rabbits. If you’re dealing with smaller pests like insects or birds, mesh screens or garden netting can also be used to protect your plants. Additionally, you can use row covers, which are lightweight and breathable, to protect your plants from pests while still allowing air, water, and light to pass through.
Choose Pest-Resistant Plants
Another effective way to keep pests out of your garden is to choose plants that are naturally resistant to pests. For example, herbs such as basil, rosemary, and thyme are not only delicious, but they also have natural properties that repel pests. Some plants also produce chemicals that are toxic to garden pests, which can help keep them away. When selecting plants, it is essential to consider their resistance to common pests, as well as their climate and soil requirements.
Implement Companion Planting
Companion planting is a technique that involves planting different types of plants together to deter pests. This method works by confusing pests, who are attracted to certain plants, and making it difficult for them to locate their preferred food source. For example, planting marigolds near tomatoes can help deter pests like aphids. Additionally, planting garlic near roses can help keep away pests like Japanese beetles.
Keep Your Garden Tidy
A tidy garden is essential in preventing pests from damaging your plants. Pests are attracted to debris, so keeping your garden clean and free of debris is vital to keeping them away. This means removing any dead leaves, stems, or branches and disposing of them properly. Additionally, you should also keep the soil around your plants well drained, as pests are attracted to moist environments.
Use Natural Pest Control Methods
You don’t have to use insecticide spray to keep your crops healthy! Farmers and gardeners have long relied on natural pest control methods to keep pests out of their crops, which many of the latter still use today. These methods include using insecticidal soap, neem oil, and diatomaceous earth. Insecticidal soap is made from soap and water and is effective against soft-bodied insects like aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. Neem oil is a deterrent against a wide range of pests, including beetles, caterpillars, and mites. Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance that is made from the fossilized remains of diatoms. This is exceedingly effective against a variety of pests, including slugs, snails, and earwigs.