There’s nothing worse than heading out to your garden and realizing that pests have taken over—or even destroyed all of your hard work. Gardeners have to deal with all kinds of pests, from insects to rabbits to deer, depending on their area of the country.
It can be challenging to deal with these unwelcome guests, especially if you want to avoid using harsh chemicals. If you struggle with pests in your garden, here are several methods to try to get them out and keep them away.
Use Aromatic Herbs
Many different herbs or plants will discourage pests from your garden, but choosing the right deterrent depends on the type of infestation you have. The common plants yarrow, mint, cilantro, verbena, and lemongrass will drive pests away. This solution has the added benefit of supplying your kitchen with fragrant herbs.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, also known as DE, is the fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of algae. It has an abrasive texture, so putting it around the borders of your garden hurts insects that try to crawl through it. DE is often available at pool supply stores, as it is also used as a natural filtration method. Find diatomaceous earth here.
Research which creatures like to prey on the pests infesting your garden, and then find out how to entice those predators. By attracting the predators to your garden, they will take care of the infestation for you without harming your plants. Ladybugs, for example, are a natural predator of aphids, soa packet of ladybugs from your local garden supply store will take care of an aphid problem. Read more about buying ladybugs online here.
Build a Fence
Certain pests, such as rabbits and birds, are not easily evicted from a garden and may require larger-scale interventions. To protect your plants, try building a fence or enclosure of chicken wire, adjusting it as needed when plants grow. Make sure it is flush to the ground so rabbits can’t squeeze underneath.
If you don’t want to build a fence, netting is another easy way to deter larger pests like birds, rabbits, and deer. Deer in particular like to graze but won’t be able to get at the plants through the netting. Make sure the netting is secure at the ground, otherwise birds and rabbits may be able to scurry past it. See pest netting here.
Make Natural Insecticides
If you’re really struggling with pests,natural insecticides may help clear your garden. Using pure, plant-based soaps is one way to get rid of small insects, while making solutions with garlic, cayenne pepper, mint, horseradish, ginger, neem oil, and Epsom salt is another method. While all these solutions should be harmless to your plants, test on a small area of your garden to make sure before treating your whole plot.
Grow Healthy Plants
One of the ways to prevent pest infestations from occurring in the first place is to grow flourishing plants. Sickly specimens are more likely to attract damaging pests, so make sure you’re using nutrient-rich soil, keeping the area free of weeds, and dispensing the right amount of water for each plant.
Pests of any kind can be absolutely devastating to a gardener—as most know, they can destroy months of hard work in days. You don’t have to resort to harmful chemicals and insecticides to protect your plants, however. If you’re dealing with pests in your garden, try using these natural methods in order to keep your plants safe and give you peace of mind.
Author Saffyre Falkenberg began gardening with her grandmother as a child in Southern California. She continues to keep plants in her apartment in Texas and has a special love for
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