Pests are harmful to any garden and are a sure way to destroy your garden, its soil and the crops you plant. If not controlled in time, pests can easily get out of hand and harbor in the soil. This way, they will be a nuisance year after year. So how do you keep pests out of your garden?
Growing healthy plants: Organic gardening is all about prevention and use of natural methods to deal with gardening problems like pests. So, you should start by planting healthy seedlings.
Pests are drawn to unhealthy and weak plants just like diseases affect weak human beings. So, care for your plants adequately and ensure that the soil contains enough nutrients, water the crops but do not get them too wet.
Integrate crops and attract pest predators: different vegetables and herbs attract different pests and also help in eliminating pests. Hence, the need to integrate different vegetables and herbs in your garden despite the size. Also, herbs and some flower types attract pest predators and are considered the best natural method of dealing with a pest infestation problem. Ladybugs feed on flower nectar, and their larvae feed on bad pests.
Have crop barriers: barriers protect the crops from the harsh weather as well as pests. They are woven fabrics that let in light, water and air but keep off pests.
Treatment: though prevention is always advisable, if an infestation gets out of hand, you must treat the crops and the soil. But, you must focus on organic pest treatment methods. They include; hot pepper or soapy water sprays.
Crops must be well hydrated to thrive and stay safe from pest attacks. It is advisable to water your crops at least once per week, but the routine should be determined by you areas climatic conditions.
Here is how to ensure proper watering.
Picking the right plants: it is advisable to conduct a soil test to determine the plants that can thrive under your soil conditions without the need for much watering and care. Also, your geographical location should determine the plants you grow. For instance, if you choose plants that should grow under shades, they will need too much watering if your area is sunny.
When to water: organic gardening experts recommend watering your crops early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is down. At this time, the crops have enough time to take in water without it evaporating.
Testing before watering: sometimes the surface may seem dry,
but the crop is adequately wet beneath the soil. Hence, it is important to take the two knuckle test before watering especially if you water daily. Place two fingers in the soil if you feel damp, do not water and vice versa.
It is always important to read seed packets for instructions on how to sow the seeds and care for the crops after that. However, the packets may contain gardening terms that may be confusing for first-time gardeners. For instance; direct sowing refers to seeds that are planted directly into the garden; they do not require a seed bed. Heirlooms are crop varieties that are saved by gardeners for decades and hybrids are seed varieties that are created as a result of cross breeding.