If you have a lovely garden in your backyard and you’d like to see it thrive and flourish, there’s one problem to tackle first - pests. A common challenge when it comes to gardening, pests can quickly destroy and completely ruin your plants, causing chaos and wreaking havoc on their way.
In this article, we explore the importance of keeping pests off your garden plants and share ways on how to protect plants from pests without spending too much money and wasting too much energy.
Why is Protecting Plants from Pests Important?
Keeping garden plants free from pests is important for several reasons.
Firstly, pests can cause significant damage to plants. They can eat the leaves, fruit, and flowers of plants, which can reduce the yield and overall health of the plant.
Pests can also spread diseases, which can further damage the plant and make it more susceptible to future pest attacks.
Secondly, pests can also reproduce quickly and spread rapidly. Once pests establish themselves in a garden, they can be difficult to control, and their populations can grow quickly.
This can lead to a significant loss of plants and a reduction in the overall productivity of the garden.
Thirdly, pests can also affect the surrounding ecosystem. Many pests are not native to certain areas and can cause harm to local wildlife and plants. Some pests can also act as vectors, spreading diseases to other plants, which can have a cascading effect on the local ecosystem.
Lastly, pests can also be a nuisance to gardeners. They can be frustrating to deal with and can make gardening less enjoyable. By keeping plants free from pests, gardeners can have peace of mind and enjoy the process of gardening.
In summary, keeping garden plants free from pests is important to maintain the health of plants, the productivity of the garden and the surrounding ecosystem, as well as for the enjoyment of gardening.
So how can you achieve this?
How to Protect Plants from Pests
Here are a few useful tips to make sure your plants are protected against pests.
Using Natural Pest Repellents
One effective way to protect your plants from pests is to use natural repellents such as garlic, peppermint, and neem oil. These can be sprayed on the leaves of your plants and will help to keep pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites at bay.
(Here is an in-depth guide to dealing with aphids in your garden.)
Before you use this method, make sure that you’ve researched whether the natural pest repellent can somehow influence the growth of the plant. This will help you prevent any undesired negative consequences.
Keep Your Garden Clean
Another important step in protecting your plants from pests is to keep your garden clean. This means removing dead leaves, debris, and weeds on a regular basis.
Pests are attracted to gardens that are dirty and overgrown, so keeping your garden clean will make it less inviting to them. A clean garden is not only more protected against pests but is certainly more appealing for you and your guests too.
Use Companion Planting
Companion planting is a technique where you plant certain plants next to each other that can help to protect each other from pests. For example, planting marigolds next to tomatoes can help to repel tomato hornworms.
This method does require some further research, which is essential if you want to ensure you’re properly choosing the plant species to position together. However, in the long-term, it’s worth it.
Adding Physical Barriers for Your Plants
Physical barriers such as row covers, netting, and screens can be used to keep pests away from your plants. These barriers can be placed over the plants and will prevent pests from getting to the leaves and fruit.
Consider Using Traps
Although traps are sometimes considered rather aggressive and unethical, in cases of severe infestations, they could be one of the only available solutions. Of course, it also depends on the type of pest you’re trying to protect your plants against.
Traps can be used to trap pests such as aphids and whiteflies. Yellow sticky traps can be placed near plants to attract and trap these pests.
Welcoming Beneficial Insects
Beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings can be used for protecting plants from pests. These insects feed on pests and can help to keep their populations under control.
They can live in harmony in your garden without really causing any damage, in fact - quite the opposite. They can help keep off the dangerous pests and ensure your garden thrives.
Use Pesticides (Sparingly and Only if Necessary)
Pesticides can be effective in controlling pests, but they should be used sparingly. Overuse of pesticides can lead to the development of pesticide-resistant pests, and can also harm beneficial insects.
Consider Doing Crop Rotations
Rotating crops each year can help to reduce the build-up of pests in your garden. By rotating crops, you can make it more difficult for pests to build up a population, as they will not have a consistent food source.
Chossing Disease-Resistant Plant Varieties
Choosing disease-resistant varieties of plants can help to reduce the risk of pests and diseases. These varieties have been bred to be more resistant to common pests and diseases, which will make them less likely to be attacked.
Regular Monitor Your Plants
Regularly monitoring your plants for signs of pests is important in protecting them. Look out for signs such as holes in leaves, discoloration, or sticky residue on leaves. This will help you to identify pests early on, before they have a chance to cause significant damage to your plants.
Now You Know How to Protect Your Plants from Pests
If you’ve tried all of the above and you still have a pest problem in your garden, perhaps it’s time to call in the experts. A professional pest control company can certainly come in handy when it comes to protecting your plants from certain destruction.
Make sure you’re selecting a reputable and certified pest control expert who knows what they’re doing. Also, make sure they have experience specifically with gardens and that the chemicals they use won’t harm your plants.
There you have it! Now you know how to protect plants from pests.