Pest Prevention 101

Pest Prevention 101

Ask any gardener and it’s very likely that they’ll tell you that they have had problems with “unwanted guests” in their garden at some point. Aphids, thrips, mealybugs, mites, and even slugs and snails, are all commonly found in gardens, both indoors and outside, and are capable of slowly, and sneakily, destroying various plants in your garden. While it’s difficult to completely and totally eliminate pests from ever getting into your garden without the use of various pesticides, there are several strategies and methods you can use to minimize the risk of pests attacking your gardening oasis! 

Minimize Insect Prone Areas 

One of the easiest defense methods you can employ against pests is by eliminating potential places for insects to live and reproduce in your garden. Weeds and other debris in your garden are notorious for being homes to numerous kinds of insects. 

Try Companion Planting 

Companion planting is the practice of planting specific plants next to each other to help fight certain pests that one plant may be vulnerable to. For example, basil and tomatoes make great companions because basil repels certain insects like thrips and hornworms that tomatoes are vulnerable to. Basil also attracts bees which help with pollination and can benefit the overall health of the tomatoes. Being mindful and strategic about what specific plants you are planting next to each other is essential in keeping your garden pest free. 

Try Watering Your Plants Earlier in the Day

Another easy way to fight pests is to try and water your plants as early in the day as possible so that they will have the most amount of time possible to dry out in the sun. It’s important to try and keep your plants dry since wet leaves and foliage attracts insects and fungi that can damage your plants. 

Minimize Digging or Tilling

By minimizing disturbances to the soil in your garden, you can also minimize your risk of invasive pests. This also helps beneficial microbes in the soil flourish, which in turn will help your plants flourish. 

Introduce Beneficial Insects 

Not every insect in your garden is an enemy of your plants! Insects like ladybugs and lacewings are an essential line of defense for your garden as they feed on many unwanted pests, like greenflies, that can be harmful to your garden. Planting flat shaped flowers, like sunflowers, can help attract these insects to your garden!

While there’s many different ways to keep pests away from your plants, hopefully these few tips and tricks can give you a foundational understanding of how to best protect your plants from unwanted visitors setting up camp in your garden!