Anyone who owns a garden will have to deal with pests eventually, but the chemical products sold on the market are not a long term solution. To be sure, they will eradicate the offenders, but at the expense of also destroying organisms which are beneficial. Below are some ways that you can use nature to prevent pests from entering your home.
Utilize Crop Rotation
A lot of insects and organisms which cause disease will overwinter in soil that is within close proximity to the host plants. Growing the same vegetation (or one that is related) in the same location year after years gives these pests a significant advantage. By rotating your crops and growing them in different places, it inhibits the ability of insects to cause damage because exposure to them is minimized. When practicing this technique, once you harvest a plant or vegetable you should not grow it in the same location for at least 24 months. This is especially important for crops such as cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and broccoli. Aside from pest prevention, crop rotation also foments soil nutrient balance.
Practice Timed Planting
Veteran gardeners understand that timing is everything when it comes to planting crops and pest prevention. Insects typically make their appearance around the same time each season, which means planting can be scheduled so that you avoid the times where they are feeding the most. Familiarize yourself with the insects in your region and their patterns and then time your planting accordingly.
Always Grow Plants In Healthy Soil
This seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of gardeners who try growing their produce in low quality soil. The results won’t be good, and if you find that you live in area that has poor soil quality in general, there are a number of things you can do to change it, such as adding matter which is organic to boost the nutrient levels, the ability to retain water and improved structure. If you feel the plants are getting enough nutrients and liquid, give them organic fertilizer supplements. Your plants should never have to compete for nutrients or water, and mulches can be used to control weeds.
Choose Resistant Varieties
There are many cultivars which are naturally resistant to pests and disease. They are produced by plant breeders who have a profound understanding of botany and genetics and how to select for specific attributes which make the cultivar resistant. When shopping for these cultivars, read the plant labels or seed packets as this information will usually be highlighted.
Dispose of Disease And Infected Plants ASAP
A plant that becomes diseased or infected will quickly attract insects, which will put nearby healthy plants at risk. Dispose of the infected plants as soon as possible, putting them in the compost pile is an ideal solution to prevent pests. Be sure to dig in the soil so that you can remove any larvae or eggs which remain so they won’t attract birds.