Managing Garden Pests
Without Using Harmful Chemicals …
If you have ever tried to create or manage a garden then you will no doubt have had to deal with the frustrating taks of dealing with garden pests.
Just recently, we found, of all things, our chive and garlic chive plants totally covered with what looked like little black aphids. The plants were looking worse for ware – wilted and basically badly affected by the infestation. It’s always a good habit to take regular walks around the garden and just take a note of how things are doing.
Problems may not always be as obvious as our ‘bug’ infestation. Sometimes you might notice holes in leaves, or even swollen lumps in the bark of small branches. All sorts of problems are caused by garden pests. Some of which include slugs, worms, caterpillars, birds, snails, oh and of course lets not forget the ‘larger’ varieties of ‘pests’ like deer, rabbits or the occasional gopher. Although you can never wipe out these pests entirely, after all your hard work in the garden you have to do something.
Insects are one of the worst things to have in your garden; they can live under the soil, in old weeds or piles of leaves, or in a number of other places. In order to help keep insects away, always try and eliminate places in your garden and near your garden that these insects and other plant diseases could be living. Remove old leaves, weeds, or any other decaying matter that insects and diseases could be living in from your yard. Also, regularly turn over your garden soil and break apart any clumps of dirt so that you can eliminate the living spaces any insects that might be hiding underground.
Another way to rid your garden of the pests is to use dormant spray, which is used to keep destructive insects and diseases under control. It is best that you use dormant spray when your plants are dormant, usually around February or early March. I have used dormant spray many times on my garden and it has worked wonders on keeping insects out. But as I learned from experience, dormant spray is only effective if you follow the correct instructions. When I first decided to use some on my garden, I just dumped it everywhere in hopes of killing everything harmful. Unfortunately I ended up killing my entire garden along with my neighbors. Some insects can be beneficial to your garden though, so be sure to find out which insects help your garden.
Another pest problem I’ve had besides insects has been birds. Whenever I see birds in my garden I run outside a chase them away, but as soon as I step inside they come right back. The solution that I’ve come up with to keep the birds away from my garden is to put a bird feeder in my yard. Instead of costing me time and money by eating my garden, the birds eat at the bird feeder. In the long run it’ll save you money. Not only can a bird feeder help keep birds away from your garden, but they can also be a new part of your yard decoration. Although not completely eliminating my bird
problem, my bird feeder has made the problem smaller. Getting a dog has also helped.
If you start seeing mounds of dirt around your yard, and your plants keep unexplainably dieing, you can assume that you have a gopher problem. Thankfully, this is one of the few garden pasts that I haven’t had. However my friend has truggled with a tremendous gopher infestation, so I decided to research it. Gophers are rodents that are five to fourteen inches long. Their fur can be black, light brown, or white, and they have small tails. One method of getting rid of these root-eating pests is to set traps. The key to successfully capturing a gopher using a trap is to
successfully locate the gopher’s tunnels and set the trap correctly. Another way to get rid of them is to use smoke bombs, which you place into the tunnel and the smoke spreads through out it and hopefully reaches the gopher.
If you suspect that your gardens are being pillaged by any of the pests I mentioned, I encourage you to try your hardest to eliminate the problem as soon as possible. The longer you let the species stay, the more established it will become.