Trying to implement a pest control system into your garden, lawn or crop can seem tricky to do without chemicals. There are several ways you can introduce green pest control methods into your garden’s eco-system. One major way involves what is known as biological pest control by using ‘good’ insects to control ‘bad’ insects. This is truly an eco-friendly solution, which requires zero chemicals and leverages mother nature to do most of the work for you.
Implementing Organic Pest Control Methods into Your Garden
By implementing these methods into your garden, you’ll be providing a safe haven for insects that are beneficial to your garden, while reducing the population of insects that destroy your garden. These methods are 100% safe for your garden and are pet friendly if you have outdoor pets. Be sure to do your own due diligence as well and wear any protective gear when needed.
The methods include:
- Attracting beneficial insects
- Installing row covers
- Applying food grade diatomaceous earth
Check out the infographic below on how to get started with organic pest control in your garden this planting season:
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Getting Started with Organic Pest Control in Your Garden
Implementing a pest control system into your garden that is safe and organic doesn’t have to be rocket science. Keeping harmful chemicals away from your plants is paramount to a healthy garden. There are several methods of pest control that you can introduce to your garden to keep bad insects to a minimum.
Leveraging Mother Nature with Biological Pest Control
With biological pest control, we’re going to leverage mother nature by controlling the bad insects in your garden with their respective natural predators. There are several types of insects such as lacewings, ladybugs and ground beetles who act as a security force in your garden by seeking out and feeding on the bad insects in your garden such as cabbage worms, grasshoppers and aphids. The natural predators will keep the bad insect count down, while taking refuge in your garden as a new home.
The key to make this happen is to ensure that the beneficial insects don’t want to leave your garden. By introducing certain plants into your garden such as zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers, you’re providing food, shelter and a home for your new brute squad. Keep them happy and they will pay their rent by seeking out the bugs that are only interested in destroying your garden. It’s recommended to plant around 5-10% of your garden with insectary plants to attract the beneficial insects into your garden.
Install Row Covers
This seems like an easy one to figure out, but sometimes the best protection is a physical barrier such as a row cover that are laid over your plants to provide a barrier between pests and your garden. Row covers allow vital nutrients such as sunlight, moisture and oxygen to pass through while keeping bugs out. Installing them is fairly straight forward.
- Insert hoops in the ground about two feet apart from each other between your plants
- Lay a medium-weight row cover on top of the hoops
- Secure the cover with heavy objects such as rocks or soil at the edges
Using Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)
D.E. (food grade) is a powder consisting of fossilized algae matter that works great as a pest control agent. Under a microscope it features sharp edges that will puncture the exoskeletons of hard-bodied pests. The affected pests will die within a few days from dehydration. D.E. does not affect earthworms or soft-bodied insects, though it’s prudent to take notice on where you apply the D.E., so you don’t affect ‘good’ hard-bodied insects, such as bees. Avoid applying it to open blossoms or places where bees may land.
By introducing a natural pest control system into your garden, you’ll be extending the life of your plants and providing a healthy alternative to traditional pest treatments.