With the tips and shortcuts below you can get back to square one and have a
1. Choosing the right spot to plant will make your plants healthier and
less susceptible to pests. Take into consideration the amount of sun, water
and condition of soil.
2. Build raised beds to offer good drainage as well as
aeration. Raised beds are easier to keep weeded and bug free. They are a
great solution for not so perfect sites and soils.
3. Using organic techniques like adding compost to your beds will give
you healthier soil, which in turn will give you healthier plants that will
be better able to stand up to infestation.
4. Promote good air circulation by giving plants adequate space between
5. Choose plants that are less prone to problems than
others, such as the purple coneflower that aren’t bothered by pests at all.
The beneficial butterflies love the blooms and the birds love the seeds in
6. If you are having problems with certain bug pests, foil them by
planting the flowers and vegetables in a different spot every year.
7. Plant pollen-and nectar-producing flowers as food sources for
beneficial insects. Daisies, coriander, dill, fennel, goldenrod, mint, sweet
alyssum, and yarrow, are some of the common plants that beneficial insects
8. Always make sure to pull out any badly infested plants as soon as
possible during the growing season and do not put into your compost pile.
9. Keep your garden free of weeds and dead plant debris, and make sure to
remove spent plants at the end of the season. This will eliminate the bad
bugs that winter over.
10. Scald individual weeds, such as ones growing in hard to get places
like sidewalk and patio cracks, by pouring boiling water in a steam over the
weed. Some weeds may take 2 or 3 times. I have one of those around the home
steam machines which work well.
11. Just plain vinegar applied with a spray bottle can kill many common
leafy weeds. Try to get a high percent acidity. If it is around 5 percent
acidity you may have to do a few times. Be careful that you do not spray
your good flowers.
12. Clean your cutting shears with rubbing alcohol after cutting off any
infected parts of your flowers, or you may spread eggs and disease to
13. Avoid bug zappers because they also kill the good
bugs. In the end they do more damage then good. Because of the light, you
will be attracting more pesky bugs into the area, thus creating a vicious
14. Plant herbs with your flowers that deter some pests like…
- Anise: Repels aphids
- Artemisia: Repels flea beetles, cabbageworms, slugs
- Basil: Repels flies and other insects
- Catnip: Repels ants, flea beetles (but not cats)
- Coriander: Repels aphids
- Garlic: Repels aphids, Japanese beetles
- Mint: Repels aphids, flea beetles, cabbage pests
- Pot Marigold: Repels asparagus beetles
- Tansy: Repels ants, Japanese beetles, flies
Purchase beneficial bugs from your Garden Center like
ladybugs for controlling aphids and other slow moving pests. A single
ladybug is capable of consuming up to 50 to 60 aphids per day, but will also
eat a variety of other insects and larvae including scales, mealy bugs,
leafhoppers, mites and various types of soft-bodied insects. Release them
early morning or early evening after gently spraying water on your infected
plants. Gently scatter, or spread them out so each ladybug can find food and
water immediately by putting them on your infected plants so they will stay
and not fly away. It has been demonstrated that a single lady beetle
may consume as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime.
Praying mantis is a general predator
of most pest insects, mites, eggs, or any insect in reach. Each egg case
contains approximately 200 baby mantises. Use 3 cases per 5,000 square feet
or 10-100 cases per year per acre. Side note: people actually make pets of
these creatures. You can feed them my using raw meat or a live bug on your
17. Trichogramma wasps. These
wasps fit through the eye of a darning needle. These tiny parasitic wasps
that have a wingspan of 1/50th of an inch. They are a very efficient
destroyer of the eggs of more than 200 species of moths and butterflies
which are leaf eaters in their caterpillar stage. Shipped as pupae in host
eggs, glued to one inch by one inch paper squares, they arrive ready to
hatch out as adult wasps. Release when moths are first present and
periodically thereafter. There are different species of wasps so you need to
have the right one -- brassicae or pretiosum for field crops, minutum or
platneri for orchards. Release 5,000 (1 square) per 5,000 sq. ft. weekly,
for 3-6 weeks.