Gardening is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby that offers several benefits. It keeps you physically active and gets you outside in the fresh air and sunlight, all of which are key to supporting your health. As fun as gardening is, the excitement of this activity can be ruined by pests. Insects, rodents, or pigeons can wreak havoc on your garden and make it much harder to maintain.
Thankfully, there are things that you can do to keep those pesky pests away from your garden area. Below, we’ve discussed seven of the most effective methods of pest garden prevention.
1. Keep Your Garden Clean
A messy and dirty garden can attract pests. Keeping your garden area tidy and clean will minimize the risk of pest infestations and make your garden maintenance much easier and less stressful. A clean and clutter-free garden improves the safety of your garden, preventing falls, injuries, and allergies. It also keeps your plants healthy by reducing the spread of diseases.
2. Opt For Pest-Resistant Plants
One of the most effective ways to keep bugs and birds out of your garden is to purchase plants that are known to resist pests.
There is a wide range of plants that have natural pest-resisting properties, and filling your garden with these plant species will keep the pests away and enable your garden to thrive. Some of the many bug-resisting plants include:
- Basil – this plant is easy to grow and repels houseflies and mosquitos.
- Bay leaves – this popular culinary ingredient repels ants, houseflies, and cockroaches.
- Chives – another common ingredient in many dishes, chives are naturally repellent to aphids, flies, mosquitos, and mites.
- Garlic – this aromatic plant is a strong pest repellent, particularly for aphids, cabbage worms, and slugs.
- Marigolds – another aromatic plant, marigolds can keep aphids, mosquitos, and even rabbits away from your garden.
- Thyme – this tasty herb can keep mosquitos, whiteflies, corn earworms, and tomato hornworms out of your garden.
3. Use Physical Barriers to Protect Your Plants
You can install fences, netting, and covers to protect your plants from pesky pests. Fences can be particularly helpful for keeping larger animals out of the garden, such as rabbits and pigeons. Mesh netting is a great way to repel insects and prevent them from accessing your plants and flowers. You may also need to install soil-level physical barriers so caterpillars and worms can’t chew at your homegrown vegetables.
4. Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
Not all bugs are pests. Ladybirds, lacewings, and parasitic wasps can be beneficial in your garden. They can help to keep harmful pests away, either by eating them or scaring them away. You can attract beneficial bugs to your garden by growing suitable types of plants and flowers. Dill, cosmos, and sweet alyssum are just a few of the many plants that can bring beneficial insects into your outdoor space. Grow these plants next to your vegetable patch for optimal results.
5. Look After Your Plants
Keeping your plants as healthy as possible will strengthen their ability to repel pests. Healthy plants will be less susceptible to disease and are more able to fight off bugs and rodents. Plants have natural defense mechanisms that they use to deter pests, and keeping them as healthy as possible ensures that these defense mechanisms work effectively. To improve the health of your plants, feed and water them daily, and ensure the soil has the correct pH. You should also add compost or fertilizer to the soil, so your plants have all of the nutrients they need to thrive.
6. Rotate Your Crops Regularly
Rotating your crops involves moving your plants around to different areas of your garden. You should aim to rotate your drops once every year to prevent the build-up of pests and to minimize the risk of plant diseases. The easiest way to rotate your crops is to switch them around during the winter months when your garden is at its barest. This way, when spring arrives, and your flowers start to bloom, you won’t be greeted by hundreds of pests in your garden.
7. Spray Organic Pesticides Onto Your Plants
Pesticides are one of the most effective and efficient methods of pest control. However, many modern-day pesticides are known to contain chemicals that are harmful to humans. Choosing natural, organic pesticides on your crops can help repel pests without risking your health. You can purchase organic pesticides from most garden stores or use herbs, such as peppermint, that have natural insect-repelling properties.