Protecting Your Garden From Pests

This is a post from a contributing writer. I know many of you are already hard at work in your gardens! We’d hoped to be as well, but with our boys due any day now, we decided not to undertake it this year. I did, however, manage to get some tomatoes in pots and am hoping to add some herbs soon as well! 🙂 

Pests are the bane of every gardener. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your plants from being savaged by creatures and critters. Here are some of the more creative and effective methods for those that struggling with pest control.

Lay Traps for Slugs and Snails

These slippery pests can chew through your vegetable patch or eat away your pretty shrubs if you don’t take preventive action against them. The most effective method is to leave space between plants. An empty patch of soil between plants will help prevent slugs and snails from being able to move from plant to plant as easily. Control an outbreak and make it easier for birds to snatch them up if they do try to cross the empty patch of soil. Salt spray meanwhile can act as a natural pesticide against these creepy crawlies. You can also lay beer traps.  

Try Companion Planting

Companion planting is a way of using one plant to improve growth of another. Such a tactic can be used to ward off some pests. If you’re getting problems with aphids, growing chives and coriander next to your plant may ward these critters off. Basil and rue meanwhile is great against flies.

Keeping Out the Neighbor’s Cat

Cats digging up your plants can be a problem, and there’s much debate over tactics for deterring them (shooting them with a BB gun might get you into trouble). One effective measure might be to install a motion sensitive sprinkler that goes off every time a cat is in the area. Some people have found that sprinkling ingredients such as chili powder and baking soda is also effective.

Know When to Call in the Professionals

Some pests are best eradicated by calling in a professional. An obvious example is wasps – removing a nest oneself is generally not advised. Ants and termites can also prove troublesome and may have vast nests underground. Specialist termite control companies such as might be required in such a situation – many may be able to assess the situation for free and then let you know if any further action is needed.

Protect Healthy Biodiversity

Not all critters are bad for your garden. Some bugs such as spiders, aphid midges, damsel bugs, and ground beetles can help ward off other bugs such as ants, flies and aphids. Chemical pesticides can sometimes be damaging to these healthy insects. In some cases they can also be damaging to bigger animals such as small mammals and birds. After all, you don’t want to deter all wildlife.