Spring is the perfect time to get the garden tools out and start getting the garden box ready to grow some vegetables and your favourite flowers. You might do this every year, or this is your first attempt at gardening, regardless of your experience level, we’re here to help you keep pests out.
Our experienced Ph.d. entomologist Alice Sinia has put together a few easy and simple tips keep your garden pest free.
Tips To Pest Proof Your Garden
1. Start With Good Garden Sanitation
You want to begin by practising good garden sanitation. This can include prepping and inspecting the soil from the winter. First, you want to begin by removing any materials that are conductive to pests, this can include dead twigs, old plant roots, or leaves from the previous season. These materials can attract and sustain pests and cause fungal diseases as they rot, so it is imperative they are removed from the soil.
Next, you want to turn the soil or mulch over to expose plant feeding insects that overwintered in the soil or mulch. This will encourage them to take off and find refuge elsewhere, clearing the soil of these pests.
2. Prepare The Soil
Along with good garden sanitation, choosing a nutrient rich soil before you begin planting is important in ensuring your plants have healthy growth. This can also help reduce the likelihood of plant diseases in your garden. You also want to make sure there is adequate moisture in the soil, but avoid overwatering. This will ensure your plants are strong and can withstand any pests that may enter the garden.
Throughout the gardening season, you also want to keep the soil groomed of weeds and ensure they are pulled immediately as regular maintenance. Adding mulch to your garden helps to maintain moisture in the soil and control weeds. Mulch also prevents over watering, decreasing the likelihood of a moisture source on your property. Choosing the right type of mulch is important as well. Some types of mulch retain so much water that it ends up habouring pests that may damage your garden.
3. Select Your Plants
Make sure you are doing your research when selecting which plants to include in your garden. You should be seeking out pest and disease resistant plant variants. In the garden, you should have a good mix of plants, the variations will make it harder for pests to establish a home.
You should also research what environment the plants you have chosen thrive in. Knowing if they like sun or shade is important because you want your plants to be in the best possible environment to thrive and be strong against any potential pests.
Monitor pest activity using insect monitors, which you can find at your local garden center. Keep a record of what pests you find, including numbers/population and what time of year. This will help you when planning control options for future growing seasons.
Low levels of pest activity can be manually dealt with, however, if there is a heavy pest population on your property, you may want to consider the use of plant friendly products help reduce the pest population. It is important to keep in mind that it is okay to have some pests in your garden, as it is the balance of nature! However, you should monitor the population closely to ensure that your plants are not being damaged or eaten.
If you follow these tips when establishing your garden area this spring, you are sure to avoid any major pest issues. Here is to a successful gardening season with lots of beautiful flowers and delicious produce!
Remember that if you are dealing with a pest issue beyond what you can handle, your local Orkin Canada pest control experts are there to assist you. Contact Orkin Canada today for professional pest control you can trust!
Reviewed by Alice Sinia, Ph.D., MSc on April 7 2022.
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