Tired of seeing hungry bugs ruin your garden year after year? Well, don’t worry, because that’s not going to happen again. Not to you. Not this year. A few simple tips is all that stands between you and a garden free of costly pest damage—and we’re going to show you how to get it done. Read on for 5 easy tips for preventing destructive bugs in your garden.
While it’s tempting to cram as many plants as possible into your garden, doing so can have serious pest ramifications. Without proper circulation and space, your garden becomes even more inviting to hungry insects, as you’re now providing them with shelter, too. This also encourages garden pests to breed and live within your garden rather than simply visiting your plants from time to time to feed.
It can be a headache, especially on the weekends, but watering in the morning is a sure-fire way to decrease garden bug problems. The reasoning is simple, bugs tend to feed in the evening and drier plants are less appetizing to pests than damp ones. Plus, since your plants will have access to plenty of moisture before the day heats up, they’ll be healthier and therefore less prone to disease and pest infestation in general.
Birds, toads, and frogs are ravenous insect-eaters. You can limit your own garden bug populations by inviting these friendly allies into your yard.
Placing a small bowl of water and a toad house near your garden should attract a hungry amphibian or two (just be aware that the water might also invite mosquitoes, so keep close watch). Birds usually don’t need much of an incentive if there are already bugs around. However, if there are no natural shelters like small trees, you might need to add a birdhouse, too.
Having beneficial insects—like praying mantises, ground beetles, and ladybugs—living in your garden will dramatically decrease the number of destructive garden pests you experience.
To attract these allies, try offering a diversity of plant life of various heights that bloom at different times throughout the year. Having trees, shrubs, and turf is also essential, as they offer beneficial insects space to overwinter, allowing them to return year after year. Many beneficial insects feed on pollen and nectar, so you’ll need something that supplies those resources as well, like plants in the aster and carrot families. Other common plants that attract beneficial insects are thyme, oregano, sunflowers, and daisies.
Overripe veggies and fallen fruit are some of the biggest attractants of destructive garden pests. Firstly, they’re an easy source of food. Secondly, overly heavy fruits and veggies can make a plant less healthy, and therefore more prone to bug infestation and disease.
Keeping a close eye and picking any over-sized fruits and veggies you see before they can fall is one of the simplest and most impactful approaches to naturally control common garden pests.