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avoiding garden pests

Avoiding Garden Pests

What is a pest?

As most gardeners will have experienced, these uninvited guests can uproot, damage or eat our plants.   However, there is often a solution.

For instance, try and work with nature to encourage bio-diversity.  A monoculture (a large area of similar plants) is a feast for certain predators so aim to mix fruits and vegetables with flowers to control pests and diseases.

Plants that are weak and under stress will be the prime target for a pest. Keeping plants healthy by giving them the essential elements such as light, water, food and space will give them a fighting chance of survival.

avoiding garden pests

Song thrushes love snails

Insects and small creatures are the most visible pests you need to accommodate, but try to consider them as beneficial predators in the garden.

  • Hedgehogs, frogs and toads will eat slugs
  • Hoverfly and Ladybirds eat aphids, their larvae will consume large amounts of aphids on a daily basis and reduce damage to plants
  • Birds will eat caterpillars, an important food source for young birds in the spring. Song Thrushes just love to eat snails.

When avoiding garden pests, companion planting can help too.  Aromatic herbs such as rosemary and basil deter pests like mosquitoes and flies, whereas mint controls cabbage worms.  Planting garlic near strawberries reduces spider mites and keeps slugs away in general, and nasturtiums or marigolds near vegetables discourages aphids.

 

Hedgehogs will happily eat slugs

First published in the September/October 2019 issue of The Local Buzz

Images: Shutterstock