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Pest Control & Prevention in the Garden

Pest Control & Prevention in the Garden

Mary Smith |

We asked our customers what issues they face in the garden and the top responses were Weeds and Bugs.  Today we're going to tackle the Bugs & Pests issue.

I need to say this first, bugs are a very important part of the garden.  Don't try to fight ALL of them, learn to work with and around them.  There are good bugs and bad bugs and both will be present in the garden whether you like it or not.  My goal with this article is to help you work WITH nature and not fight nature.
Container gardens are one way to slow down garden pests

Earlier this year I shared an Organic Pest Control series

First I shared Identifying Common Garden Pests

Part 1 Companion Planting

Part 2 DIY Organic Recipes

Part 3 Using Food Grade DE

Then, Identifying Common "Good Bugs" in the Garden

If you have not read these articles, I highly recommend going thru them.  Not because I shared them but because they will answer many of your questions.

Rather than fighting the bugs, let's chat about prevention.

Companion Planting is our first line of defense against bugs such as hornworms and squash bugs.  

Planting LOTS of Borage in the garden with tomatoes, tomatillos and other plants will help deter tomato hornworms.  This is NOT a complete prevention but it's a start.  

Nasturtiums are another great addition to your garden to deter bugs such as squash vine borers.

Marigolds can deter root-damaging Nematodes.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on your plants by checking on them daily of every other day.  If you catch a problem early enough you can say yourself a lot of trouble.  Aphids for example.  If you see a few of them, you can use a DIY organic spray to contain them before it becomes an all out infestation. Please be aware that some sprays, even organic, can still harm beneficial insects.

Do not compost infested or diseased plants.  This is one way to prevent further infestations.

From Rodale,

Attract an airborne defense squad
One of the best ways to short-circuit an onslaught of pests is to attract an airborne cavalry charge of beneficial insects. Many beneficials—including the small wasps that prey on pest caterpillars—will gratefully take advantage of the flat-topped floral landing platforms offered by members of the umbel family, which includes dill, Queen-Anne’s-lace, parsley, and carrots. (You have to allow the parsley and carrot plants to overwinter and grow into their second year to get those umbrella-shaped flowers that beneficials find so attractive.) Other plants beloved by beneficials include sweet alyssum, all kinds of mints, and chamomile.


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