Thursday, July 19, 2007

Garden Pests Prevention and Control

Well, to continue one of my previous posts Garden Insects & Pests, I'm going to bring up some of the things we can do in our gardens to keep our plants happy and healthy. Keep in mind, it can all be done without using any man made chemicals, strictly natural!
All kinds of garden pests, diseases and fungi can attack your plants. However, there's a lot of stuff we can do in our everyday garden maintenance to prevent such unwanted guests from visiting our gardens. On the other hand, if allowed to thrive, extreme control measures are necessary to get rid of them.

It's better to be safe, than sorry!

  • Cleanliness/tidiness is a very important factor in pests prevention and should be incorporated in every gardeners routine. Removing the garden debris in which many insects live will help for sure. Don't let the leaves to accumulate on the soil surface and try to keep it as tidy as you can. And one more thing,always keep your garden tools clean(you can only guess why)!
  • Pruning is also very important, it will increase airflow, encourage new growth and improve the overall state of your plant. Healthy plants are much more disease resistant and while pruning your plants when it's needed, you will simply be removing diseased or dead parts of the plants!
  • New plants in our gardens our always a joy, but there are those times when they become our worst nightmare. When importing new plants in your garden always be sure to check them out properly for possible pests and diseases. A single, beautiful new plant in your garden might bring you a whole lot of problems in your garden, so I advise you to think twice.
  • Companion planting is also a very helpful way of keeping your garden plants healthy. Certain plants are known to discourage certain insects. This way you have an everyday natural insect repellent in your garden. I can say that my apartment is almost 100% fly and mosquito free and it's all thanks to the choice of the plants I've made this year. Growing so many herbs on my balcony garden turned out rewarding in so many ways. Choosing the plants you grow in your garden is very important if you want to create a healthy organic garden, so do your research before you do any planting.
Even with all preventative measures taken, sometimes pests and diseases will take over your garden. When that happens things go downwards pretty fast and you have to take control!

  • Manual removal is an option, but only in very early stages of infestation and for people with good eyesight, a lot of patience and not too many plants.
  • Natural organic sprays represent significantly better option that should help you get rid of your garden infestation. I like to use neem oil which is very effective against all kinds of pests, very easy to use and pretty inexpensive. Spray the foliage of your plants(under the leaves also) heavily and that should do the trick, if not repeat the process a few more times.Just recently, I've used Neem oil to protect my cherry tomatoes from aphid and spider mite infestation and again it worked great. Pyrethrum based sprays work o.k. also, but are unreasonably expensive from my point of view.
  • Biological control or introducing predators and parasites into your garden is also a great way of controling garden pests, as well as a great preventative measure. If you don't have a ladybug or a lacewing in your garden don't despair, today it's possible to order them online. If you like the idea, check out this site with loads of info and a great offering of beneficial insects.

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