When you have a garden, it’s only natural that pests will follow. Most of these pests are quite small, and you may not notice them until they’ve done some serious damage.
Other pests are so large that they are impossible to miss. This is the case with wildlife like deer, rabbits, raccoons and a variety of rodents.
Regardless of their size, I’ve learned to take pests seriously. Large or small, they can all wreak havoc, and to ignore them is to risk the health of the entire ecosystem that you’re trying to nurture.
I’m aware that some gardeners are ok with using a variety of chemical means to deal with pests in the outdoors. Over the years, I’ve developed a different perspective.
That’s because I’ve discovered that many of the more powerful chemicals that may be used for pest control in yards can have a number of unintended consequences. In an effort to avoid contaminating water and harming beneficial insect species, I’ve adopted numerous all-natural pest control practices in my yard.
Mainly, I try to focus on prevention. I’m always on the lookout for weak plants that may already have some kind of infestation or are more likely to attract predators. Getting rid of these plants means less temptation for harmful pests.
I also make a practice of using no-till gardening practices to keep pests out of the soil. This also is a good method for minimizing weeds, as is using plenty of mulch. Mulch also will help to create healthier soil, which leads to stronger, more pest-resistant plants.
Watering in the morning is one of the best recommendations I can make for keeping pests away. Morning watering allows foliage to dry out over the course of the day, making it less attractive and vulnerable to pests.
After working in an area where I know a pest infestation is underway, I make a point of disinfecting any tools that I used before using them elsewhere. I just hate to think that I helped to spread an infestation by neglecting this step.
Of course, when you’re dealing with larger pests, then you need to take much different prevention steps. In this case, you may want to consider fencing for your garden.
Some people are a bit reluctant about putting a fence around even a portion of the yard. They worry about the expense or that the addition may spoil the view.
Now, these concerns are completely valid, but I’ve discovered that there are common-sense methods of getting around them.
For instance, I suggest looking into a deer-proof poly fence. This fencing material looks a bit like a black plastic net. It’s available in a wide range of heights, which makes it suitable for keeping out everything from rabbits to deer.
After years of use, I’ve discovered that there are many reasons to love this deer-proof fence. Aesthetically, I don’t have a complaint. This material genuinely blends into the natural background. It’s almost impossible to see from a distance.
This means that my view isn’t spoiled. Even better, this fence really works. Ever since I installed it, I haven’t had any deer in my yard.
I also installed an extra barrier that keeps out smaller critters. Now, I can be confident that my flowers and produce won’t be disturbed by any type of pest, large or small.
While I like to focus on pest prevention with things like mulch, morning watering and fencing, I also recognize that some pests are determined to get through almost any preventative measure. That’s why I introduce some beneficial insects into my landscaping as well.
I love to release a hatch of ladybugs early each summer. These helpful bugs eat mites, aphids and whiteflies, some of the most common pests in flower and vegetable beds.
Another beneficial insect that I swear by is the praying mantis. These fascinating creatures will eat an astonishing variety of pests. Just don’t expect them to take on the deer. You’ll need a fence for that.
If you’re having trouble with cutworms, root weevil larvae or beetles, then consider introducing nematodes into your ecosystem. They are harmless to people and pets, and they just might ensure that anything you plant will thrive in the coming growing season.
Large or small, pests are a reality in gardens. However, I don’t let them take control in my yard. With measures like mulch and fencing for prevention and beneficial insects for control, I can keep things pretty pest-free, and that’s good news for my plants.