How To Protect Fruits And Flowers Of Your Garden From Pests?
Gardening is a very rewarding endeavor, you experience the fruits of your labor by having beautiful surroundings and eating the freshest food.
But, it has its fair share of frustrations from pests to watering and everything in between. There are a lot of things to consider especially if you are utilizing organic methods. Pest control is a constant battle in an organic garden, your efforts will be amply rewarded with produce without chemicals that are good for you and the environment too.Fortunately, there are natural methods of pest control for a healthy garden, sans the nasty chemicals.
How pests can harm your garden?
These creepy crawlers leave no stone unturned when they wreak havoc it’s done above-ground or underground plant parts. And the mouthparts of these pests determine the extent of the damage.
Even the laying of eggs, oviposit, is a nuisance, heavy oviposition in stems cause death or dieback on the plant. Fruits are misshaped or aborted.
Some insects transmit plant disease by carrying the plant pathogen from one plant to another. Bacteria are picked up on the body parts of the insect from diseased plants and transferred to healthy plants.
There are pests that eat whole leaves and others only portions causing widespread loss of leaves. With a lack of leaves, the plant is unable to undergo photosynthesis which hinders growth or causes malformation.
Sucking pests drain nutrients from the plants causing discoloration, twisting or curling. This is the reaction of the plants to the insect’s saliva and injury caused by the mouthparts.
Beneficial Pests in the Garden
Growers are familiar with the support given by beneficial insects and frown at the damage done by the nasty ones. Welcome these good guys when you see them in your garden.
Lady beetles also known as ladybugs or ladybirds feed on mites, aphids, soft-bodied bugs, and all insect eggs they locate.
Pirate bugs are avid predators of aphids, spider mites, thrips, and caterpillars. An adult will devour over 30 spider mites daily. They are found in corn, soybeans, tomatoes, and flowers.
Green lacewing is lethal to any soft-bodied insect pests and its eggs. An adult can consume 200 aphids in a week. If the food supply is exhausted, it cannibalizes its fellow lacewing larvae.The praying mantis is a ferocious predator that eats any insect in sight, good or bad, including wasps and bees.
Pests that Cause Damage
Different pests cause different damage and the extent depends on how the insect feeds on the plant. However, not all insects are pests it’s best to identify the good ones from the bad here are the garden invaders that should be kept under your radar.
Small jumping insects similar to fleas with shiny dark brown or black color 1/10 inch long). Lives underground and feasts on roots and germinating seeds.
Chews numerous holes on leaves and feeds on sunny days. They can quickly kill plants if the population is high.
Black to gray flies with yellow stripes and clear wings (1/10 inch long). Lay their eggs on the undersides of foliage, larvae are worm-like maggots (1/3 inch long).
This will not kill a plant but cripple the hardiness.
Slug and snails
A snail has a hard shell and a slug does not.
Chew large holes on leaves and damage plants feed on decaying plants too.
Green with seven diagonal white stripes and a black or red horn from the back. Gray or brown color (3-4 inches long).
Consumes entire leaves, stems, and sometimes fruits.
Relative of spiders, ticks, and scorpions. Oval in shape and reddish-brown or pale in color (1/50 inches long).
Live in colonies on the underside of leaves. Feeds by puncturing leaves and suctioning plant fluid. Leaves turn yellow, wither, and drops off.
Preventing Pests in Your Garden
A gardener’s nightmare is pesky pests that rise to an unacceptable level causing damage to crops and the house too. Fret not, there are ways to prevent the presence of these nibblers using garden and residential pest control techniques without using chemical pesticides.
Prevent pests in your garden by planting different kinds of crops in the different sections of your garden. Some insects spend time underground and multiply under a susceptible plant. When they reappear in search of food they will find a difficult time finding their dinner. The insect is forced to move to the host plant placing them in harm’s way of birds and other insects.
Invite beneficial insects
Not all insects are bad in fact some eat pest insects for lunch. Encourage these garden-friendly insects into your garden by planting pollen and nectar-producing plants. The more insect buddies you have the less likely pesky pest numbers will get out of hand.
Grow healthy plants
Healthy plants are less attractive to pests. They have their own defense system to ward off any attack from these nasty creatures. Nourish your plants by providing your soil with organic matter and make sure they are planted in areas where they will flourish. Growing healthy plants is one of the effective ways of avoiding pests in your garden.
Apply row covers
These lightweight fabric sheets are wrapped over hoops or columns to protect plants and permit light to go through. Usually, nurseries use this to shield delicate plants from light frosts, row covers keep crops from creepy crawlers and small animals.
There are plants that are natural insect repellants, plant them next to plants to distract pesky pests. Marigolds repulse cucumber beetles and nematodes; tomato hornworms hate basil plants; garlic thwarts Japanese beetles, aphids, and spider mites.
Keep your soil healthy
Before planting, turn over the soil and mix it with compost or dung to supply nutrients. Healthy soil grows healthy plants that have better resistance against harmful insects.
Plant in the right place
Determine which plants require lots of sunlight so plant them in a full sun. Group plant according to watering needs, if it needs more water place it in an area that stays moist.Space plants for good air circulation this will prevent fungal spores from sticking to the foliage. Also, avoid overcrowding or planting too close to the house.
Finally you can contact pest control service to handle if you want professional can help the best.