4 Simple Steps to Keep Garden Pests Away This Summer
Summer is synonymous with warm weather, chirping birds and luscious gardens. But alongside green grass and brightly coloured flowers, there’s an aspect of summer that’s not so fun–garden pests.
Chances are, if you struggled with pests last summer, you’re going to have a problem with them again this season. This is largely because without completely eradicating them, they won’t leave on their own. Many homeowners resort to the pest control services Melbourne and other Australian cities rely on to keep their properties pest free.
What will you do this year?
Don’t Turn Your Garden Into a Pest Haven
You may have the pest situation in your home under control, but what is the critter status in your garden? It may seem like some pests are only around the garden, so you might not give them a second thought.
However, if you don’t deal with them, they may just move indoors, creating a much larger problem. Aside from investing in some quality home pest control, there are additional steps you can take to keep your garden pest free this summer.
1. Improve the Health of Your Soil
Every avid gardener knows that the health of your soil is key to creating plants with robust immune systems. As with all other living organisms, stronger immune systems are better equipped to combat diseases and pests.
A few simple tips to improve soil health include the following:
- Create permanent garden beds and pathways to avoid walking on the soil
- Don’t over till the soil as this can make it easier for valuable particles to blow away
- Add organic matter to improve the nutrients in the soil
- Add mulching to the garden as it allows the soil to retain moisture
2. Choose Plant Variants That Naturally Resist Pests
One of the easiest ways to keep pests out of your garden is to choose plants and shrubs that naturally repel harmful insects. Some common examples are:
- Lavender: Aside from adding a delightful fragrance to your garden, lavender is also a dynamic choice to keep flies and mosquitos away from your garden. It’s a good idea to plant them near windows to keep mosquitos from entering through windows.
- Garlic: Many Australian gardens are plagued by soil borne pests such as beetles, fruit flies and spider mites. A lot of gardeners plant garlic in between other plants or vegetables to deter insects from setting up camp there. The strong smell associated with garlic has been known to keep a whole host of pests at bay.
- Basil: Another plant that boasts natural insect repellant properties is basil. It’s especially great for planting amongst tomatoes, cabbage and even beans. If your area is prone to flies, grow basil in pots near doorways or on windowsills to deter flies.
- Sage: This traditional herb is very handy for several reasons. It attracts bees to your garden, which increases pollination, and that’s always a good thing. In addition, sage repels ants and mice. It’s another herb that’s good for planting in pots at various entry points to keep critters out.
3. Attract the Good Pests
Every garden has its own unique ecosystem, and it wouldn’t be complete without good insects. A common example of this is bees that naturally come to your garden searching for pollen, nectar and even shelter.
In some instances, the useful insects will either prey on the pests or drive them out of the garden. Encourage beneficial insects to move into your garden. Do this by planting plants that attract various pollinators. Some of the more common flower and plant choices are:
- Queen Anne’s Lace
- Tea trees
A big advantage of these types of plants is that they have colourful flowers. Many also have odors that keep annoying flies and mosquitos at bay. And who wouldn’t want a great garden that’s not only filled with colour but smells great too?
4. Keep Your Garden Clean
Another integral part of keeping the pests in your garden under control is to keep the garden and surrounding properties clean. A few key tips:
- Move wood piles away from the sides of your house and be sure to store them in cool, dry places
- Any garbage cans on the property should have sealable lids and should also be cleaned out regularly
- Keep the soil in pot plants clean and free of dead leaves, which can create a damp area for pests to nest
- Keep gutters, roof areas and walkways clean to prevent water, sand or leaves from building up
Pests shouldn’t be the reason you don’t enjoy your garden. If your garden needs work, start with a small section and work your way through it. Be sure to add a few pest repellants to make keeping pests at bay much easier.
Lastly, planting herbs that repel insects and serve a purpose in the kitchen gives you a double bonus!