Getting Started Guide: Garden Pests

Garden pests are an inevitable part of the entire gardening experience. As hard as you might try, garden pests always find a way into your luscious and fertile beds. Luckily, there are several things you can do to avoid or even discourage them from making an appearance in your gardens and flower beds. Below we will discuss some of the most common options to rid ourselves of these pests. 


Plants themselves are very vulnerable to garden pests. As seedlings, plants are most at risk and vulnerable to build-ups of bugs in the soil around their roots. Luckily as they grow, stems get thicker, they become more disease resistant, and some can even release a bitter substance. However, there are various things we can do to minimize their exposure to garden pests, as described below.


Crop Rotation

One of the easiest ways to avoid garden pests is to perform regular crop rotations. Crop rotation requires plant locations to vary year to year. A good practice is to change the layout of your garden annually. Under no circumstances should it remain the same for more than three years. Not only should you keep specific breeds out of the area, but any related plants as well. Mainly because the diseases and garden pests may affect related plants the same as the previous. There are other benefits of crop rotation that we will touch on in later guides as well.


Diversity

Another good practice is to plant more than one species of each type of vegetable you want to grow. For example, Kuroda Carrots and Autumn King Carrots next to one another is a good idea. Mainly due to the fact they are so similar but have different resistances. What may attack the Kuroda Carrots may not affect the Autumn King. You may not get an entire harvest, but half is better than none. Garden pests tend to move quickly through large groupings but slower through a smaller diverse crop. 


Pesticides

The final solution to garden pests is using pesticides, either conventional or organic. However, these should only ever be used as a last resort to deal with an outbreak of bugs. Some pesticides can be very harsh for your garden, environment, and even yourself. You could opt to create an organic pesticide, as these are much less toxic and environmentally friendly. They do, however, tend to be less effective than conventional insecticides. They are less effective against mature bugs, targeting the larve or small worms. Organic pesticides are also only effective for a day or two after application and can be rendered inert by rain, sunlight, or even exposure to the air.


Organic Pesticide

A simple form of organic pesticide is a molasses spray. Insects look for specific sugar content in the plants that they eat. Too much or too little sugar will cause them to bloat, give them gas, and cause them to die. The other benefit of this spray is the increase in microbes in the soil around your plants. Increased microbial activity means better moisture retention, more natural fertilizer, and nitrogen. So it's a win, win solution.


Simple Organic Molasses Pesticide

Spray this solution bi-weekly onto the leaves of your plants.


3 Tablespoons Organic Molasses

1 Tablespoon Organic Garlic

1 Tablespoon Organic Fertilizer

1 Gallon of Water

1 Spray Bottle


Hopefully, this short guide has helped you get your pest population under control. Do you have another successful organic remedy to control the pests in your garden? Please share it with us below!


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