We need to be real when it comes to using pesticides. Pesticides with a variety of chemicals are manufactured to kill insects that attack our trees, flowers, and vegetable gardens. Even when a person uses these chemicals as directed it is important to note that besides being toxic to the bugs they are also toxic to pets and people. The good news, however, is that we can eliminate these pesky pests without using toxic chemicals. How can we do that?
We do it by utilizing many wonderful creations and processes in nature. Rather than trying to dominate nature with our man-made toxins it is easy to eliminate destructive insects by means of a few basic natural methods. You can enjoy those beautifully colored, scented flowers and tasty vegetables while supporting the network of life that exists in the soil. You will also be doing your part towards keeping our planet safe and green.
1. Invite some Friendly Insects
Some of the allies in your garden area include friendly insects, such as assassin beetles, ladybug beetles, praying mantis, dragonflies, shield bugs, and ants. They continually patrol the air and ground area capturing and eating other harmful insects.
Like human beings, these friendly bugs need water and food, a place to live and reproduce. When you provide their needs, you will be helping to increase their numbers. For example, ladybug beetles will hatch out as larvae. Immediately after the hatching process, they begin to eat the young and eggs of destructive scales, aphids, and other harmful, soft-bodied plant eating insects.
Another friendly ally to invite into your yard are our feathered friends. Encourage a variety of birds to patrol the garden area for you. It is perhaps one of the best ways to control harmful insects from harming your plants. Almost every bird is happy to find and eat a meal of insects. They have been created in such a way to do so effectively.
Besides employing these feathered allies to patrol your yard, you will also be entertained by their aerial antics, amazing colors, and beautiful sounds. If you are fortunate, they will build a nest in your yard and raise their young. Watching this process is an educational treat for both the young and old. Some of the birds that you may want to invite into your yard area include starlings, thrushes, bluebirds, mockingbirds, wrens, and robins.
To lengthen their stay, you can provide them with a birdbath, a birdhouse, sunflower seeds, or commercial bird seed mixes. This will be especially important during the winter months when there are slim pickens in regards to edible insects. It is important though to protect any of your fruit trees or berry shrubs with protective netting.
You can also count on amphibian. Amphibians will consume harmful insects and other destructive small creatures. For example, a toad can eat up to 10,000 insects. Toads love to eat spiders, wasps, caterpillars, flies, and squash bugs. A lizard, though less common, is also an effective bug hunter and eater of harmful pests in the garden.
If you have the opportunity to have both toads and lizards in your yard then you will have the best of both worlds. Why is that? The reason is that lizards hunt primarily during the day whereas toads hunt primarily during the night. Having both amphibians will allow you to have 24/7 garden protection.
Both toads and lizards appreciate having some water close by. If you do not have a garden pond then you may want to set out a shallow pan filled with water so that they can jump in and jump out easily. During the winter months, when most of the harmful insects are absent, the lizards and toads will be hibernating. However, do not fret because they will re-emerge when those harmful pests return.
If you keep your plants healthy and unstressed then they will be stronger and able to resist most attacks from harmful insects. Therefore, another strategy to easily keep harmful insects at bay is to keep an eye on your plants. Provide them with everything that they need such as sunlight, water, and fertilizer.
2. Develop Fertile Soil
The next natural tip for a healthy yard and garden without harmful insects is to develop fertile soil. When you begin building a new garden it is relatively easy. You start by tilling the garden area and then adding natural and organic materials such as compost or mulch.
For the better soil it is important to use organic matter that is diverse. For example, for additional nitrogen you can add manure. All types of animal maneuvers are valuable additions for the soil. In fact, a good quality manure will be more beneficial than adding compost.
3. Use Healthy Seeds
In addition, you will want to only use healthy seeds and plants. Try to avoid those bargain-basement chemically treated seeds or transplants. Your plants will want to get off to a strong, healthy start with quality seeds and plants which will make them far less inviting to insect pests.
4. Provide Enough Water
Water is important for both human beings and plants. A tiny transplant or seedling will have very small root systems. These tiny root systems need to avoid stress and this can be done by regularly watering them. If you live in an area that does not receive a lot of rainfall then it is important to water your plants daily. You can retain moisture by applying organic mulch around the plants.
5. Create Adequate Space
Finally, make sure that there is adequate space around the plant. When your plants are too close together it will promote stress and disease. Plants need to breathe and therefore they need adequate space.
When constructing a plan for your garden area make sure that you leave enough space for the mature size of a plant. This will ensure that all your plants remain healthy and have the strength to fight off attacks from harmful insects.
This is a guest post from https://discoverziehler.com
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.