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Natural Pest Control For Your Garden

By Sukey Wini on October 16, 2010

Pests are notorious for causing a loss of plants every year, however, that loss can be minimized with good pest control practices. If you ensure that your plants have been properly watered, fertilized and cultivated, you will also work toward growing plants that are more pest resistant than plants that are neglected or have received poor care. One veteran horticulturist claims that the best first step lies in purchasing tougher kinds of plants that have resistance to the most number of pests possible.

There are many available plants which can withstand the usual diseases that a garden faces, but there are less varieties that can stand up to pests. If you have started your garden using seeds, you should not keep these seeds to sow another garden. This can help you avoid seed borne diseases. You can find many seed dealers that have a good reputation for selling high quality and pest free seeds, and each year you should try and get some seeds from them. If you buy transplants, make sure that they are strong and healthy. If your seedlings are too weak, young or even too old, it is very likely that they will not survive the shock of the transplant, making them more susceptible to some pests.

An effective and affordable method for controlling a number of soil borne diseases lies in rotating your vegetables around the garden annually. For example, you could plant corn in one section one year and then cabbage the next. A good four year rotation would be to alternate corn with plants like broccoli, greens or cabbage, and then alternate those with plants such as pepper, potatoes, and tomatoes, and further alternate those with beans, legumes or corn once more.

Samples of smart sanitation to be utilized for good pest control include making sure that the garden is free of infested crop debris, cull piles, and volunteer plants. Pests find these materials ideal for living in, so they should not be saved for mulching or any other use. Use leaves, straw, or other materials which did not come from your garden instead. Mulch, however, has a major drawback of its own that should be considered if you are attempting to reduce or eliminate garden pests. Mulch allows some insects to survive inside of it and they are able to reach your plant without you noticing them.

In cutting back on the spreading of various plant viruses, sanitation is furthermore critical. Before any intricate cultivation or transplants make sure that you wash your hands and your tools thoroughly with soap. This is especially important if you're a smoker, because some quite deadly plant viruses actually originate in tobacco.

Many pests can infest the weeds in your garden as well. It's best to keep your garden and an area around your garden free of weeds. Besides creating other damages to plants, leafhoppers, beetles, mites, nematodes, aphids, and other insects typically live in weeds and transmit their plant diseases. It's crucial to maintain a weed-free area around your garden, especially if the area is home to any Johnson grass. Johnson grass is notorious for harboring insects, so get rid of it.

You'll also want to control the levels of moisture in your garden in order to avoid harmful pests. Watering early in the morning helps to prevent diseases. You may not even need to use a fungicide if you take to watering your plants first thing in the morning. When you water at night, the moisture will not be dried by the warm temperatures. The moisture will stay on the plant, producing a prime environment for fungus and other diseases.

You can erect a barrier around newly transplanted members of your garden to protect from insects. There are many different household materials you can use for this like milk jugs, cardboard or even extra shingles which you can put a few inches into the earth to protect the plant. Keeping peppers or tomatoes from cutworms, grubs, wire worms, and other forms of insects that attack from underneath the surface is easier if you utilize this type of barrier to protect your transplants. Aside from barriers and proper maintenance, using biological methods to control your pests, such as using a predator insect to destroy insects that eat your vegetables can often work well. Gardeners should learn how to identify insects which are helpful and keep them alive, such as spiders, ground beetles, syrphid flies, lacewings, ladybugs and the praying mantis.

Pesticides can be used, but only as a last resort. Non-chemical methods should be attempted first when trying to keep the pest population under control. Be sure to use any chemicals according to the directions on the label. For example, if the directions say you need to wait a specific time period after spraying before you harvest your vegetables, be sure to wait out that period to ensure a healthy harvest.

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Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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