Residential gardening in America produces 80 million pounds of pesticides each year. These chemicals infiltrate the soil and your food. They’re also dangerous for your children and pets to be around.
You can protect your home garden from pests without using pesticides.
The methods of natural pest prevention are surprisingly easy and effective. Many of them are also more affordable than chemical pesticides. Win-win!
Are you ready to get rid of garden pests in an eco-friendly way? Keep reading for seven easy ways to protect your garden.
1. Move the Compost Far Away
Many pests are attracted to decomposing plants and food. If you have a compost bin in your backyard, move it far away from your garden.
Bugs and insects are important for the decomposition process. You should still have a compost bin and discard food waste this way. But, avoid keeping it near the garden where pests can spread and keep eating.
You should also remove dead plants, leaves, and debris from your garden. As they begin to decompose, pests will come for the buffet.
Make sure the perimeter of your garden is clear of any plants and debris. There shouldn’t be any logs or dead sticks for them to hide under. Your garden is only for thriving plants, nothing that is in the decomposition process.
2. Add Variety
Biodiversity is one of nature’s magic tricks. Not only does it encourage plants to grow healthy and strong, but it also prevents pests.
In your home garden, avoid making it easy for pests to propagate through. Disperse different plants among your fruit and vegetable plants.
Include some that naturally repel pests. For example, petunia flowers repel aphids, beetles, and squash bugs. Chrysanthemum flowers repel silverfish, roaches, and beetles.
Adding biodiversity back into your garden will also attract the insects we need. Flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. They also attract hummingbirds which are always pleasant to see in your garden.
3. Buy Predator Insects
There are plenty of insects that pose no threat to your garden. And, they happen to help prevent pests that will do damage.
You can attract these warriors or buy them from your local gardening store.
Here are some bugs and insects you might want to consider buying for your garden:
- Praying Mantis
- Mud Wasps
- Hover Flies
There are also animals that can help with your pest problem. Lizards and toads love eating slugs and snails. If you can introduce these species to your yard, you can eliminate your slug problem.
4. Make it Spicy
If you aren’t already growing herbs and spices in your garden, you should. Not only are they delicious in meals, but they also protect your garden from pests.
Spices and herbs have strong scents that many pests hate. Some examples are chives, garlic, mint, and basil.
If your garden’s pests are four-legged and furry, definitely plant some garlic. Rabbits detest the smell of garlic and won’t want to veg out around it.
Catnip is another herb great for repelling pests. But, if you or your neighbors have an outdoor cat, you might attract a new pest to your garden.
5. Grow Healthy Plants
Like any predator in the animal kingdom, pests will prey on the weak before the strong. Use this principle as motivation for your gardening.
Healthy and strong plants are less likely to attract pests. Weak, small, and sick plants are easy targets.
How can you ensure your plants grow big and strong? By researching each plant’s optimal conditions. Learn about their ideal soil, light, fertilizer, and harvesting conditions.
Organize your garden in a way that sets your plants up to succeed. Put plants that require lots of watering in one section. Plants that prefer to be left alone can go together on the other side.
Homeowners in more rural areas might deal with bigger pests, like deer, voles, and rabbits. The best way to keep these hungry critters out of your garden is with a fence.
Regular chicken coop wire is perfect for garden fences. You want to choose a material that doesn’t block the sun or rain. But, it also needs to be sturdy enough to withstand wind.
The height you build it to depends on your intruders. If you have deer, you might need a fence as tall as 10 feet.
For smaller animals, a few feet might be okay if they can’t jump higher than that. Some rodents like to burrow and dig tunnels. To prevent their entry, bury the bottom of the fence a full foot deep.
To keep your fence in good condition, protect it from the weed trimmer. Read more here about the benefits of using fence armor.
7. Diatomaceous Earth & Beer
One of the easiest ways to prevent pests is by spreading diatomaceous earth around your garden. This clay-like soil is made of diatoms, broken-down fossils.
The texture of diatomaceous earth is very rough and painful for some insects. Pests with a hard exoskeleton can get scratched and ripped open by the shards in the soil. They will avoid walking over diatomaceous earth.
By sprinkling it around the border of your garden, you prevent ants and beetles from getting in.
Diatomaceous earth is all packed full of soil nutrients. It acts as a fertilizer for soil and as an organic pesticide. And, it’s pollinator-friendly.
Although it works for beetles and shelled-insects, it doesn’t work for slugs or snails. To prevent these pests, consider setting up a beer trap.
Slugs and snails love the smell and taste of beer. Place a shallow dish of beer in your garden to attract them. They’ll get intoxicated from drinking the beer after falling in and eventually die.
Ready to Get Rid of Garden Pests in Your Backyard?
Switching from chemical pesticides to natural methods is an awesome achievement. You’re effectively protecting the surrounding lakes, oceans, and soils.
Get rid of garden pests with one of the methods listed above. Remember, you’ll soon be harvesting cleaner and more sustainable produce.
Removing pesticides is just one way of making your garden more sustainable. Read here for 10 more ways to have an eco-friendly garden.