10 Ways to Control Garden Pests Without Pesticides

ladybugGrowing a garden free from pests may seem like an impossible task, but can be done if you know what to do. You can rid your vegetable garden of those irritating bugs without using any chemicals.  Besides, chemicals have an adverse effect on the environment and you want to keep your immediate environment safe, not only for you and your family but for your pets too.

Here are ten ways you can rid your garden of bugs naturally.

1. Grow resistant plants: Plant a variety of vegetables that are known to be resistant to plant diseases and pests.  Find out which plants are adaptable to the climate of your location and plant these.

2.  Keep your garden clean: Remove plants that are severely infested as soon as you notice them. Compost infested plants that have been pulled up and also plants that have stopped producing. This will get rid of the pests that usually find refuge in crop debris.

3. Do regular handpicking: Take a daily tour of your garden. Look for pests and as soon as you find them, destroy them. You can either crush them with your fingers or drop them in a bucket of soapy water. Look for yellow, white or reddish brown eggs underside of leaves and crush these too.

4. Use water: Spray water on aphids and spider mites on your plants. They can’t stand up to high pressure water.

5. Ring Seedlings: Cut toilet paper tubes or paper towel cylinders into small sections and place around young seedlings. This is an effective method for preventing the bugs like cutworms from getting onto your plants.

6. Plant traps: Bugs have favorite foods too. So planting the food they like away from your vegetables especially before you start planting your garden will help. They will flock to these plants. Once they do, you can move in and get rid of them by destroying them before you plant your vegetables.

praying mantis

7. Vary your plants: Pests usually thrive in a garden with only one type of plant and where there are no weeds. So you should plant a different vegetable for each new row, for example, greens followed by tomatoes.  When you plant a combination of plants, the bugs usually become confused and will not invade your garden.

8.  Mulch consistently: Mulch keeps plants moist, gets rid of weeds, keeps the top soil cooler and is an added benefit to microorganism, earthworms and the roots of the plant. Mulch also acts as a deterrent to pests as they find it more difficult to attack the plants.

9. Beneficial Bugs: There are more good bugs than bad ones. In fact bad bugs only amount to 1-2 percent of the insect population.  Bugs such as beetles, centipedes, flies, millipedes, centipedes and praying mantises will keep insect populations low by eating earwigs, grasshoppers, and other similar bugs.  Roly-polies and Lady Bugs are a gardener’s friends too. While roly-polies feed on dead and dying vegetation just like worms do, Lady Bugs will eat up all those pesky aphids.

10. Rotate Your Crops: Don’t plant the same crop in the same location. When you rotate your crops you will eliminate plant diseases and pests.

Your plants will do well if you patrol your garden frequently. However, it’s best to do some research before you begin so that you are better prepared for bug infestation.  Nature has its own ways of controlling and, or eliminating garden pests, so you don’t have to depend on harmful chemicals.  Create your own pest free garden the natural way!

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