Garden Pest Control

When pests start poking their noses into your garden, you want to protect your food, but many of us prefer to choose minimally toxic methods. Whether for concern about what’s going into the soil, or for the safety of children helping, or for the benefit of harmless species, it’s an understandable worry. Organic Gardening has a great post with seven solid ideas for keeping your garden free of chemicals and invasive pests. Here’s a sampling:

Japanese beetle
Japanese Beetle / Benny Mazur / CC BY 2.0

Use floating row covers. Lighter plastic in the warmer months keeps off many pests; heavier plastic can extend the growing season. Combined with crop rotation, this method is a little labor intensive, but the plastic can be reused from year to year, making it a good investment.

Use pre-made sticky traps or make your own. By combining a trap of the right color to attract the bugs and a specially formulated gunk, it’s simple to snag the bugs with either a stationary trap or by startling them off your plants, into the air, and onto the trap.

Use parasitic nematodes. Nematodes is a word we tomato gardeners shudder at, but you can purchased a specific beneficial species which is very good at eradicating certain soil-dwelling grubs, including the larvae of the dreaded Japanese beetle.

For more safe pest control ideas and more details about how to use these ideas and for which pests, be sure to check out the Organic Gardening article.

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