Nothing is more frustrating or will bum you out more than seeing all of your hard work falling by the wayside when you realize that your garden is wrought with insects and diseases. The plants that you’ve worked so hard to grow are now useless, dead items that you must pull up and dispose of instead of the beautiful, nutrient-rich produce that you intended to consume. It happens so often, and many are unsure of how to prevent it. We can relay a few helpful tips on how to avoid garden pests and diseases.
Pull Up What Shouldn’t Be There
Your garden is already at risk enough without the overcrowding of weeds, vines, and other debris which will only serve to aggravate the situation. Weeds are a problem for several reasons they steal nutrients from your plants, they’re a creative haven for bugs, and they choke the plants surrounding them. Pulling them will only make your garden healthier, and it will significantly decrease the number of pests you see.
If you have a plant that’s already been compromised, don’t leave it to rot on its stalk. Instead, pull it out and dispose of it far away from the healthy part of the plant. Leaving the plant intact will attract other bugs; removing it will minimize that hazard, and allow nutrients to be directed to the healthiest part of the plant (rather than a piece that’s dying).
Rotate Your Crops
Have you ever noticed that the same bugs are always on your tomato plants, but never on your cucumbers? This is because specific bugs prefer individual plants, plain and simple! To prevent pests from setting up shop in some regions of your garden where they’ll want to chow down often, rotate your crops seasonally so that they’re in a new location every time. Pests will be less likely to re-infest when their habitat is continually moving.
Prune, Prune, Prune
Many bugs will eat their way into the fruit and then lay their eggs, or they’ll lay them on branches, or they’ll lay them at the base of the plant, just beneath the surface. Avoid pests climbing up and down the stalks and laying eggs on leaves by pulling away from the unhealthy, the weak, and the dead parts of the plants. Cutting back the sick will make more room for the healthy, and it will decrease chances of pests having a reproductive heyday where they shouldn’t be.
Use Homemade (Natural) Pesticide and Products
Mix some canola oil with some ivory soap, and then top it off with a little water, and spray your plants down thoroughly. The oil will attract and then suffocate the bugs, but it won’t affect plant life. Bonus? Extra hydration for your plants.
If your issue is with bacteria, not bugs, consider making your own fungus killer. Baking soda mixed with water should do the trick: pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the fungal areas every few days until the fungus is dead and gone. No matter which method you choose, don’t kill bees, we need the bees.
Don’t lose your garden to pests and diseases pull up your weeds, rotate your crops regularly, prune them consistently and utilize some homemade pest and disease killers, and you should be good to go with a healthy garden!