How To Keep Pests Out Of The Garden
It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a healthy garden, seeing as most plants and flowers require consistent maintenance. Gardening isn’t always easy. In fact, one of the biggest challenges of gardening is keeping insects from eating and destroying your growing crops. While it’s not always plausible to completely prevent all bugs from infesting, there are preventative steps you can take. Here are some ways on how to keep pests out of the garden.
Use Aromatic Plants To Deter Bugs From Your Garden
Certain types of strong scented herbs and flowers are good insect repellents because bugs don’t like the smell of them. Some plants and flowers also release certain chemicals that repel plant eating insects. Placing aromatic plants around your other plants will help protect your garden from a pest infestation and keep bugs at bay.
Types Of Aromatic Plants & Flowers
- Garlic. This strong scented herb is an effective deterrent to mosquitoes and other insects. Alternatively, you can spray garlic extract in your garden to keep bugs away without harming any plants.
- Lavender. People enjoy the smell of lavender and even find the scent relaxing; however, bugs can’t stand it. Aside from bees, most bugs will stay away from your garden if it’s filled with lavender plants.
- Marigolds. The scent of marigolds repels many insects and gives your garden an added bonus of beautiful red and gold colors.
- Basil. Plant basil or make a basil spray by pouring boiling water into a container of basil leaves to keep those pesky bugs away.
- Petunias. Petunias will keep a variety of bugs away and they even have sticky hairs that trap insects. Plant them near vegetables and herbs to keep pests from eating your crops.
- Mint. Mint is especially beneficial for repelling mosquitoes. Place containers of mint throughout your garden to keep bugs out. Note: if you plant mint directly in the ground it will spread rapidly.
Invite Beneficial Insects To Your Garden To Eat Pests
Not all bugs are bad for your garden. In fact, you’ll want to invite some of them to your garden to eat the pests and protect your precious plants and flowers. Some of these beneficial bugs include ladybugs, parasitic wasps, lacewings, hoverflies, and soldier beetles.
The safest way to attract these beneficial bugs to your garden is to incorporate plants that they can live off of. The best types of plants for them are ones that include easy access to nectar. Without a hearty supply of nectar, you won’t be able to sustain these beneficial insects.
Permaculture News provided an article with a full list of plants that attract specific types of beneficial insects. Check it out here.
Bonus Tip: Install a bird bath in your garden. This not only brings in birds, but it also attracts many beneficial insects. Alternatively, you can install another type of water feature, such as a small fountain and it will provide the same results.
Sprinkle Cayenne Pepper On The Dirt To Stop Pests From Attacking
Ground cayenne pepper can be found in most kitchens and acts as a quick and easy bug repellent for your garden. When insects crawl in the pepper, it’ll kill them or deter them from going near your plants.
Regularly sprinkle cayenne pepper on top of the dirt around all of your plants to provide a protective barrier for your garden. Make sure to sprinkle more cayenne pepper on the dirt after watering because it will all get washed away each time you water your garden.
You can also make a cayenne pepper mixture to spray underneath your leaves and stems to keep the bugs away. Simply add 2 tablespoons of ground cayenne pepper for every gallon of water, add in a few drops of soap, and whisk together. This spray is easy to make and incredibly effective.
Use Pest Resistant Methods When Planting Vegetables
While pest repellent vegetables don’t really exist, there are way to stop bugs from chomping on your crops. If you’re looking to grow a vegetable garden, it’s best to take early steps to prevent pests from invading and continuously maintain a pest free garden.
Plant your vegetables strategically – place pest repellent plants (such as the aromatic plants mentioned earlier in this article) around your vegetables as a protective barrier. This is known as “companion planting”. Planning out the layout of this beforehand can help you plant efficiently.
You should also make sure to stay on top of your blooming vegetables. Vegetables that are overripe will weaken the entire plant if not removed in a timely fashion; weak plants attract more insects. Make sure to monitor your growing vegetables and quickly gather them when they’re ripe and ready to go.
For more on growing vegetables, check out these 10 Tips For Planting A Vegetable Garden.
Use Homemade Sprays As A Natural Repellent On Your Plant Leaves
Pesticides and other chemical sprays are effective at keeping pests out but they can be harmful to the environment and to people. It’s best to avoid using these store bought sprays. Instead, mix together your own sprays with ingredients you may already have in your house.
Natural Insecticide Sprays
- Dish Soap Spray: Mix together 5 tablespoons of dish soap with 4 cups of water.
- Neem Oil Spray: Mix together 2 teaspoons of neem oil with 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in 1 quart of water.
- Pepper Spray: Mix together 2 tablespoons of ground red pepper with about 6 drops of dish soap in 1 gallon of water.
- Isopropyl Alcohol Spray: Mix 2 cups of 70% isopropyl alcohol with 1 quart of water.
Bonus Tips On Keeping Pests Out Of The Garden
- Use physical barriers to protect your vegetable garden from an infestation. A floating cover shaped like a hoop works well in safely surrounding your garden. Make sure it’s securely pinned into the ground to prevent pests from crawling under the edges.
- Spread crushed eggshells around your garden to stop bugs from crawling up your plants. Make sure to spread them around the base of each plant.
- Bees can keep away many plant destroying insects. Plant a lot of pollen-heavy flowers to attract bees to your garden.
- Put heavy mulch around the base of your plants. This make it difficult for beetles and other bugs to find their way up to the plants.
Ready to start your garden? Shop our selection of live plants and flowers to grow a beautiful, flourishing garden or to incorporate some greenery into your home!