Common pests may be unsightly or irritating, but for anyone growing a backyard garden, some critters can be downright destructive. Certain animals seem to have a knack for munching through your favorite herbs or veggies, and can undo hours of hard work.
There are a few ways folks with a green thumb can keep harmful bugs or other creatures at bay. For serious issues, it may be best to call in a professional pest control service. Otherwise, consider employing these helpful tips:
Create physical barriers
When it comes to pesky rabbits and other voracious herbivores, leaving your garden fully exposed can lead to serious destruction. Even your family dog can inadvertently cause damage to your precious plants. Better Homes and Gardens reported that physical deterrents are an effective tool for keeping pests and other animals at bay.
A wire fence can be effective against rabbits and other small animals. You may chose to contain your entire garden with a fence, or otherwise protect specific plants. Row covers can also provide adequate safety for your garden, including from hungry bugs and birds, as well as frost and other natural risks.
For serious gardeners, it may also be worth investing in an elevated planting box. These can be made at home or otherwise found at a local hardware store. Not only can this keep your plants safe from pests, but it is also good for retaining rainwater.
When it comes to protecting your garden from insects and other, smaller pests, Rodale's Organic Life stated that a little landscaping and maintenance can go a long way. For example, although mulch is an effective tool for preventing weeds and overgrowth, it can be a great hiding spot for hungry bugs. For that reason, make sure to rake or till your garden from time to time.
Meanwhile, leaf litter, decomposing fruits or veggies and other bits of organic waste can be a lure to all sorts of creepy-crawlies. To have the best garden around, you should clean up frequently and compost any scraps or debris. If an individual plant has become infested, dig it up and compost it to prevent the spread of any pests.
Better Homes and Gardens found that it is even worth removing hungry bugs by hand. If you see a larger insect like a caterpillar munching on your garden, disposing of it will protect the plant and prevent further destruction.
Diversify your stock
What you plant in your garden can make a big difference, according to Rodale's Organic Life. A single row of the same species can lead to a serious infestation, whereas a nice diverse garden will slow down, confuse or even deter some pests. It may even be worth mixing in ornamental plants with your herbs and veggies.
Other plants, meanwhile, can provide added protection to your garden. Marigolds, for instance, can be a real bother to nematodes - a tiny type of worm. Meanwhile, citronella is famous for its ability to keep pesky mosquitos away from your yard.