Thursday, October 13, 2016

How To Keep Your Garden Pest-Free- Naturally!

This post is provided by CroppMetcalfe.

With all of the time, money, and work you put into keeping your garden green, blooming and healthy year-round, it is frustrating how quickly bugs, slugs and even four-legged critters can damage your plants. And while nurseries and stores are full of chemicals you can spray and spread into your soil, that is hardly ideal for you, your pets, or the environment. The good news? You can keep your garden pest-free and pesticide free, with just a little bit of planning.

A Pinch A Day Keeps The Bugs Away

The first, easiest thing you can do is inspect your garden plants as frequently as possible for discoloration, holes, or other damage. Remove, deadhead or pinch off any diseased areas. Healthy plants can more easily fight off pests.

A Clean Garden Is A Happy Garden

Weeds, grass clippings, leaves and other debris, especially when wet, are attractive to slugs and insects. If you do not give them a place to hide and breed, they will be less likely to stay.

Invite Unwelcome Guests

A great way to keep pests away is to attract or introduce their natural predators to your garden. Depending on the type of pest you are dealing with, you can bring in ladybugs to eat aphids or make your property hospitable to the toads and lizards that eat slugs. Talk to the specialists at your local nursery, who can tell you what creatures should be invited into your garden. 

Put Out A Nice Spread

Creeping pests like slugs, snails and caterpillars move along the ground to get to your plants, so make the approach unpleasant. Sprinkle crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth beneath your plants to make your garden a sharp, dangerous and unpleasant place for these pests.

But what if your problems are larger? What if voles, woodchucks, gophers, rabbits, moles, or even deer are the pests wreaking havoc in your gardens? 

Shut Them Out

You can make your property less attractive to wildlife by eliminating brush piles and tall grass, where they can hide or nest. Seal off access to spaces underneath your porch, deck, shed or garage. 

Take Their Treats Away

Keep your compost pile covered or sealed to discourage raccoons and clean up (or eliminate) birdseed to discourage squirrels. If you use Milky Spore or beneficial nematodes on your grass to reduce or eliminate grubs, moles and skunks will look elsewhere for food.

Attack Their Senses

You can make your property repellent to four-legged friends by using bad smells, bitter tastes, noises, and scary sights. Put out garlic clips or spray castor oil, predator urine, or other organic compounds that will make your plants seem unappetizing, either by smell or taste. Ultrasonic repellers, motion-activated water sprayers and noise makers will frighten most animals, and visual devices like reflective tape and faux predators also help- just change up these tactics over time pests would not become familiar with them and ignore them.

If none of these techniques work, it is time to consider calling in the professionals.

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