Avoid these simple garden mistakes that can attract pests to your garden…
Garden pests can be a real pain, and while there are many things you can do to control them, the best way to protect your garden is to keep them from taking up residence in the first place. Techniques like crop rotation and companion planting are great ways to keep pests from noticing your garden or finding the plants they like best, but there are also several common mistakes that gardeners often make that can actually end up drawing pests to your garden. Avoid these simple garden mistakes, and you should find there are fewer pests that you’ll need to deal with.
Here are 3 areas where gardeners tend to slip up and create future pest problems, as shared by TheGrowNetwork.com:
Mistake #1. Mismanaging Your Plants in Their Early Stages
The early stages of life are a very important part of every organism’s life, including plants. It can greatly determine early on whether your plant will successfully flourish or not.
Whether your plant’s journey starts from seedlings or from direct seeds, every plant needs 4 essential things to survive: sunshine, water, food, and protection. Lack or excess of any of these essentials will lead to your plant becoming more susceptible to pests.
For example, the most common way first-time plant owners “overlove” their plants is by overwatering them.
Overwatering your plants can invite harmful gnats to feed off of your plants’ rootlets, leading to disease and stunted growth. Excess water can also attract shore flies, which are typically the culprits behind damaged plant tissue and the transfer of dangerous pathogens from plant to plant.
Most people also forget that their plant’s new garden and soil environment automatically makes them susceptible to an array of pests that they have to be protected from. Protection can include a cold frame, cloche, or row cover, all of which will prevent garden pests from attacking your plants.
Mistake #2. Cramming Too Many Plants in One Area
Most new plant owners, especially owners of small gardens, are known to unconsciously crowd too many plants into one area to fill up their gardening space with beautiful, interesting flora and fauna. However, most don’t realize that this is doing nothing but creating a beacon for garden pests everywhere to make this place their new home.
Similar to over-cluttering your garden with different items and unattended-to areas, overcrowding with plants gives pests more places to find shelter, more warmth, and more things to snack on, making it the perfect place to call home and reproduce in.
Therefore, instead of cramming your plants together, you should ensure that you have even, adequate spacing between them where air can easily flow through them. This breezy, cool environment is less attractive to pests and makes it less likely for them to want to settle and reproduce in your garden since it will no longer match their ideal environment.
Remember, space and cleanliness will be your best friend when it comes to owning a garden.
Mistake #3. Killing Off All The Bugs in Your Garden
Killing off all the bugs in your garden may not seem like a mistake to most people, since many people consider all bugs pests. However, not all bugs are your enemy when it comes to your garden.
Unbeknownst to most people, there are a lot of species of insects that actually help protect your garden against unruly, unwanted pests, and it’s going to be important for you to keep them around.
For instance, specific species of beetles, such as the ground beetle, are phenomenal garden friends that help keep pest numbers under control. In addition, certain wasp species, such as the female Braconid wasp, also keep pest numbers low by birthing their young in them and using them as hosts, a process that results in the death of the pest.
So, before you go around eradicating all of the bugs in your garden, take the time to research which ones are beneficial to keeping your plants alive and safe so they can continue to do so.
The most important thing to remember is that unhealthy plants are more susceptible to both pests and diseases, so by taking steps to improve your soil and keep your garden as healthy as possible, you’ll automatically decrease your plants’ attractiveness to garden pests.