Vegetable Gardening 101: 5 Tips to Help You Keep Pests off Your Veggies
Pests can be a menace in your vegetable garden.
Although sometimes they aren’t a big deal, an infestation to an unacceptable level can cause more damage on your vegetable garden. They can drastically reduce your yield.
With knowledge of the harm an infestation can cause, you can do the necessary to protect your veggies from pests or kick them off your plants.
As you gain more knowledge and become aware of the effect of synthetic chemical pesticides and their potential dangers, you skip them and opt for organic solutions.
Prevention is better than cure. Therefore, the best way to keep pests off your garden is to prevent them from invading your vegetables. Here’re a few ways to keep your garden pest free:
- Space your veggies properly
Proper spacing allows your veggies to breath well. Don’t squeeze in too many plants in your garden. Although having many plants in your space gives a sense of abundance, it can cause trouble later on.
Your garden needs proper air circulation regularly to keep off pests. Tightly packed plants lure insects to hide from predators and shelter from heat. They’ll feed on your plants and raise families in your garden.
Monitor for pests in your garden to eradicate them early before an invasion.
- Water your garden in the morning
Water your vegetables every morning. This keeps your plants hydrated throughout the day, especially when the sun is hottest. As a result, your veggies become less prone to stress and wilt.
Strong, herbaceous plants are less appealing to insect pests that target stressed vegetables.
Watering plants in the morning also ensures that the leaves of your plants dry off before the sun sets. Garden pests such as snails, slugs and earwigs tend to hide in close and densely spaced damp plants.
Instead of wetting the soil surface and leaves regularly, deeply water your garden once or twice weekly. Annual plants have shallow root systems, hence may need more water.
A little rain is favorable but heavy downpour can cause trouble. If it rains, you don’t have to water your veggies but let the plants dry out first.
- Attract frogs, toads and birds to your vegetable garden
Lure insects and animals that feed on insects to your vegetable garden. Setup a toad house or place a bowl of water in your garden to attract toads and frogs. Normally, the animals carve out a depression out of the soil, quietly waiting for insects to trap and eat.
Although birds feed on seeds and fruits, they also eat pests and other insects. If you already have birds in your yard, they’ll naturally feed on pests in your garden. This means you don’t have to do anything to attract birds to your garden.
However, you’ll have to plant more food sources in your garden to attract birds. Plant shrubs and trees to offer shelter to birds. They like to hide in shrubs from predators while feeding in the open. A bowl of water can also lure birds to your garden.
- Scare away large pests
If you live in an area prone to wild animals, rabbits and rodents, you can use scare crows to keep them off your garden. However, you may need a licensed gun for stubborn animals or pests. Handguns with accessories like those at https://www.minutemanreview.com/best-ar-10-stock/ can handy in keeping your garden pest-free.
However, before picking a handgun, look into local laws on how you can use your gun. Go through local laws regarding using firearms and protecting your garden from animals such as elephants and pests to ensure that you don’t commit an offense.
With accessories like those, you can secure your garden or farm even from the wildest of animals.
- Protect the beneficial or good insects
Who are the good guys in your vegetable garden? Whereas some insects are harmful to your plants, others aren’t.
Carnivorous insects feed on pests, eliminating them beyond what any pesticide can do. This reduces the population of pests in your vegetable garden.
Learn about beneficial insects, including their development stages.
Attract beneficial insects and keep them around even after pests have been eradicated from your garden. Make sure you grow plants with pollen and nectar around the hedges of your garden to lure the good insects.
Let lettuce, herbs and cole plants grow in your garden into the flowering period to keep luring beneficial insects.
- Harvest your vegetables at the right time
It’s okay to fall behind on your vegetable harvest. However, fruits that drop on the ground are susceptible to insects. Plants with overripe veggies or fruits usually decline and weaken, making them a target of pests.
Clean fruits and veggies you pick from the ground. Harvest over-sized seeds and fruits such as those of beans or zucchini. Lightly water and feed the plants, giving them time to recover.
Meanwhile, watch out for any pests that may try to invade your garden. If you identify any, eradicate them before they multiply in numbers to nibble on your vegetables.
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