It doesn’t just happen to build a good garden. It’s challenging work that always begins a long time before the snow melts—the seeds’ sensitive start, the meticulous preparation of the soil. Then comes real planting, relentless watering, and exhausting weeding. After all, the last thing you have to see is a ton of plant pests that treat your beautiful children like a salad bar.
Garden pests, such as Japanese beetles, aphids, spider mites, and fire ants, are a threat to any landscaper. Those who choose not to use toxic chemicals may seem like there is no chance to succeed against such starving caterpillars and insects, but don’t lose hope yet.
Years of experimentation have shown more than one smart way to combat plant pests without the use of toxic pesticides. Some include unleashing their real predators in order to protect the plants like a biological army. Others are DIY recipes that use things in your kitchen. Please don’t leave it to chance this year. Battle back against the pests in the yard using the strategies below.
Today, we’re talking about how to maintain your landscape pest-free without using chemicals or pesticides. It’s a frequent problem for people who want to keep an organic garden or nursery. It may not be convenient, but it is conceivable. Let’s transform the black thumb into a green thumb.
What is in your soil?
Getting back in touch with nature and all of its goodness is a perfect way to increase your understanding of the world surrounding you, whether small and big. Sadly, gardening is more complicated than it sounds, as every real gardener understands.
First of all, the soil is lively, with a tiny ecosystem that is mostly unknown to us. One handful of dirt could be home to hundreds or even thousands of fungi, hundreds of protozoans, and an extensive array of microscopic organisms identified as cryptozoa.
Although it’s not easy to get rid of all the alive creatures in your soil, and of course you do not want to, there’s a way of keeping your plants safe and often pest-free without using nasty chemicals. Although this guide emphasises on gardens, the same concepts can be applied to landscaping in common.
You can’t use chemicals and have an organic garden. You’re swallowing these poisons while you spray pesticides. They disturb the nervous systems of the pests. This can also have severe and harmful consequences for us.
One of the significant scary implications of using pesticides is that you’re going to become reliant on them. Although pesticides destroy your garden pests, they also dissuade natural animal hunters that can help manage your pest issue. You’re going to end up trapped in a loop of pesticide use since you’ve eliminated the natural pest control factor.
Methods of keeping your garden pest-free
Use the following methods and techniques to keep your garden or yard pest-free without using any chemical sprays.
Choose healthy soil
The first step towards organic gardening and landscaping is to obtain a soil specimen, also recognised as a soil analysis report. You can collect a soil specimen yourself and deliver it to a testing facility, or you can approach a pest specialist and have them collect samples and analyse them for you.
The findings will be able to determine which nutrients you should supply. This is going to keep you from experimenting and spending a lot of time, labour and resources.
Choose native species
Don’t get confused by all the seed packets in your local farmer’s market. Learn what is going well in your community and stick with it.
If you live in Australia, read about the native plants and trees of Australia. Some plants attract good bugs, and other plants draw nasty bugs. If you don’t know what’s going to grow well in your field, do research on the internet, inquire, and talk to your local lawn care specialists.
Always check the plants carefully before you buy them. Small bugs have the potential to hitch a trip.
You can also prevent a lot of harm by carefully organising your planting. For example, by alternating the position of your plants, you can be able to prevent recurrent pest infestations that stay dormant in the ground throughout seasons.
Another primary pest-avoiding technique is to time the planting and harvesting to work against pest schedules. Sowing carrots later, for example, or harvesting potatoes sooner, means losing the most productive period for some of their most common pests.
Encourage natural predators
Luring wildlife to your backyard will bring in lots of native species that will help keep the number of pests down. For example, a log pile would attract several invertebrates, drawing on natural predators like birds.
Slugs, a common pest of vegetable gardens, is a favoured food for hedgehogs. Build a hedgehog-friendly landscape with shelter, food and pathways to draw these prickly animals. Slow-worms really enjoy a good slug-fest, so lay down some corrugated steel sheets to provide warm protection for them to settle in.
Frogs love flying overhead aphids, so building a small pond in your backyard will help you control these insects, as well as offering a valuable habitat for amphibians. The ladybird is another classic predator of aphids. Drag these enticing beetles into your garden by growing nettles. Nettles draw nettle aphids earlier in the year than other insects, which means that by the time pest aphids arrive, you’ll have some native ladybirds to sort out the problem for you.
Try physical barriers
Try fencing outside your yard to discourage children, pets, wildlife and other animals from damaging your hard work. Bear in mind that building a fence takes some expertise and effort. Think about recruiting a professional.
Another way to safeguard your landscape from pests and weeds is by raising the beds. Most of the raised beds are made of concrete, cement walls, bricks or timber. Attach a mesh bottom to avoid burrowing of animals.
For a raised bed, you have additional choices to mount a fence or a shelter. When building a wire fence, please ensure it is buried at least 8-10 inches in the surface. Blocking your lawn is a brilliant way of keeping your garden pest-free without using toxins.
Walkthrough your garden and have a close connection with your plants. Know each plant and get acquainted with their tastes and preferences. Take a glance at the leaves; look for some damage. Over time, you will learn about the particular needs of your plants.
What we mean by manual control is simply looking for and killing pests in the yard, such as snails and slugs. Mulch them, feed them to chickens and ducks, or just crush them. If you have children at home or in the neighbourhood, consider paying them a few cents, or whatever you like, for each slug or snail they catch.
Manual control might not be possible for large areas of land, but if you have a small garden, manual control is the very first thing you must do before any other form of pest control is used.
Diatomaceous earth (diatomite) is created from the remains of single-celled freshwater algae known as diatoms. Soft fossilised remains come in a fine powder that will help you kill insects around your yard.
The diatomaceous earth kills pests by piercing their skin or piercing internal organs if any pest eats it. Since the killing action is more mechanical than chemical, there is no way to create resistance to it.
> Always wear the gloves, and the dust masks when applying.
> Diatomaceous works best in dry environments.
> Apply early this morning.
> Use diatomaceous soil as a barrier to destroy and deter creeping pests, such as slugs and snails.
> Spray white powder over the infected plant.
This powder can be sprayed directly on plants and around the borders of your garden bed to guard against earworms, snails and other pests.
Neem oil (from the nim tree, aka Azadirachta indica) is a potent and natural insecticide. It contains antimicrobial and antibug properties. Simply blend in water and spray to plants to treat current problems and as a preventive measure.
Neem oil is a natural fungicide and insecticide. It is beneficial for controlling:
> Root rot
> Black spot
> Black spot
> Moulds and mildews
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