You love fresh veggies from the garden, but do you know who else is after those vegetables? Garden pests. From potato bugs to squirrels, pests can wreak havoc on your garden by chewing through leaves and nibbling produce. Luckily, there are some easy, green ways to keep these pests at bay.
1. Put netting over your plants.
Garden netting is a fine mesh typically made from nylon. You can purchase it in big rolls, and there are also companies that make can-shaped or tent-shaped netting canopies. Use whatever is most convenient for you. The netting lets sunshine and water pass through, but it will keep pests like squirrels and rabbits from stealing your produce or nibbling through leaves. You will have to lift the netting to harvest things like beans and tomatoes, but that’s a small inconvenience.
2. Spray bugs with soapy water.
If you notice potato bugs or beetles on any of your garden plants, just spray them with a mixture of dish soap and water. (You can mix these ingredients up in a spray bottle.) The soap will interfere with the bugs’ ability to cling to the plant, causing them to fall off. You’ll want to rinse your veggies well after harvest to ensure they don’t have a soapy taste, but it’s a good idea to rinse your veggies before eating anyways.
3. Spray plants with neem oil.
Obtained from a species of tree related to mahogany, neem oil is an essential oil that repels all sorts of insects, from Japanese beetles to spider mites. It also interrupts the life cycles of some bugs that may lay their eggs on your plants, so using it can reduce your bug population over time. You can find neem oil in most garden stores. Spray it all over your plants every couple of weeks to keep the pests at bay. For maximum adhesion, make sure your plants are dry when you apply the oil.
4. Plant some rosemary, mint, and lavender.
Rosemary, mint, and lavender are all plants that various bugs and pests find unappealing. Try integrating a few of these plants into your garden. Spread them out for the greatest effect. You can also harvest these herbs and use them in your cooking. (Spider mites don’t like rosemary, but humans so do!)
5. Pick beetles off the plants.
Japanese beetles and several other species of beetles can be quite resilient. Sometimes you might see these bugs on your plants in spite of having followed the tips above. If this happens, just pick them off. You can then drown them in a bucket of soapy water or a mixture of water and neem oil.
You don’t have to give up your outdoor space to garden pests, and you don’t have to rely on strong pesticides to keep pests away. The tips above will keep garden pests, large and small, from robbing you of your produce. Contact Hassle Free Home Services for more help with garden maintenance.