Steps to Take When Protecting Your Garden from Pests

If you have a garden, you know how irritating pests can be! I had two giant basil plants entirely devoured by slugs. (I hate slugs.) Here are some suggestions on how to protect your garden from pests.

Growing a garden is a rewarding experience. Home gardeners often spend hours upon hours planting seeds, fertilizing the ground, and picking their crops. After all, nothing tastes as good as fresh fruits and vegetables. However, some annoying pests may try to eat the harvest first.

Thankfully, there are several ways to protect your garden from these unwelcome guests. Follow these steps.

Install a Fence

When it comes to protecting your garden, nothing stops pests like a study fence. If pests can't get into the garden, they can't destroy it. Try placing a two to three foot fence around the perimeter to keep mice, rats, and other rodents out of the garden. Since many animals, like rabbits, like to burrow, make sure the fence extends at least a foot below the surface.

Fences are a win-win option. They make a sturdy, foolproof barrier, and they also act as an ornamental feature. Choose a material that best matches surrounding structures. Some of the most popular fences include vinyl, steel, and chain link.

Choose Crops Wisely

Rodents will eat pretty much anything that's edible. However, even the hungriest pests still have discerning taste buds. Growing highly aromatic herbs will help deter animals from devouring the garden. While chefs love incorporating fresh garlic, coriander, chives, or thyme taste in their dishes, rodents can't stand how these herbs taste or smell. Place them near the other vegetables to ensure a pest-free garden.

Take Care of the Soil

Not all garden pests are mammals. Various insects and mites can also damage and kill plants quickly. Some of the most detrimental include bagworms, aphids, and gall mites. Insecticides may help eradicate these pests, but these chemicals could contaminate the vegetables. Instead, try improving the soil quality.

Healthy soil is an essential part of a thriving garden. The nutrients found in the dirt can improve a plant's immune system. The more nutrient-rich the soil, the better plants can ward off pests. As the nutrients get depleted, add a layer of natural fertilizer to replenish them.

Encourage the Right Insects

A bug-free garden isn't a healthy one. It's crucial to attract beneficial insects, such as bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and ladybugs. These creatures help pollinate plants and feast on harmful pests. Planting colorful flowers and sweet-smelling herbs will encourage these helpful insects to nest and mate near the garden. Some of the most popular examples are sunflowers, comfrey, and calendula.

Confuse Pests

Just like humans, garden pests are creatures of habit. They tend to visit the same locations to find food. Clever gardeners use this knowledge in their favor and implement tactics to confuse pests. Rotating crops each year, for example, prevents the pests from infesting one area. It's also beneficial to the soil and prevents soil exhaustion.

Interplanting is another method to try. Instead of planting the same seeds next to each other, try alternating crops. Once again, this technique confuses most pests. For the best results, plant crops that attract beneficial insects alongside those that are aromatic.

Scare Them Off

Rodents want to survive, and they will avoid predators at all costs. Adding a scarecrow, reflective streamers, or even a replica owl to your garden will help scare them away. Pests are smart, however. Once they realize the props are just decoys, they'll return. Moving these items around the garden will prevent the pests from figuring out it's a trick.

Enjoy a Thriving Garden Every Year

There's no reason animals or insects should eat your garden first. Keeping unwanted pests out of the garden will ensure you get to enjoy plenty of tasty crops every year. Track any bugs or rodents in the yard to determine which tactics will work best to keep your garden pest-free.

What do you do to keep your garden free from pests?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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